Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Singapore, 2019

Verstappen begins Singapore weekend on top as Bottas crashes

2019 Singapore Grand Prix first practice

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Max Verstappen put Red Bull on top in the first practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix, but Ferrari were close behind.

Just a tenth of a second separated Verstappen from Sebastian Vettel. Charles Leclerc, who set the pace earlier in the session in his Ferrari, was sidelined by a gearbox problem during one of his flying run.

That allowed Lewis Hamilton to make it three different cars in the top three, lapping two-thirds of a second off Verstappen in his Mercedes. He complained of being unhappy with his helmet, which he said was letting too much air in.

However Hamilton’s session went much better than his team mate’s. Things started badly for Bottas as he glanced the wall on one of his first laps, damaging the wheel, and having to abandon his initial run.

After he returned to the track he covered 14 laps before a snap of oversteer at turn 19 put him into the barrier hard. Bottas was unhurt, but the session had to be stopped while his car was recovered. He still ended the session fourth.

Next was Alexander Albon, 1.2 seconds off his team mate, having predicted yesterday it would take him some time to get up to speed on the unfamiliar Singapore track.

Nico Hulkenberg put his Renault sixth while team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who got away with brushing the wall, narrowly missed out on the top 10. The McLaren pair were next, led by Carlos Sainz Jnr, who had a couple of run-ins with Lewis Hamilton during the session. Lando Norris went off at turn seven without damaging his MCL34.

The Toro Rosso drivers also ended the first 90 minutes of running inside the top 10. Romain Grosjean was the quickest of the Haas drivers in 13th, though he complained of problems with his tyres.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’40.25922
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’40.4260.16723
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’40.9250.66626
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’41.3361.07714
523Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’41.4671.20824
627Nico HulkenbergRenault1’41.8121.55326
755Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’41.9661.70720
84Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’42.1801.92119
926Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’42.3052.04626
1010Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’42.3772.11824
113Daniel RicciardoRenault1’42.5272.26820
128Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’42.6302.37123
1399Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’42.6772.41815
147Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’42.7862.52713
1518Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’42.7912.53228
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’43.1502.89122
1788Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’43.3363.07728
1811Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’43.3693.11023
1916Charles LeclercFerrari1’43.6183.35912
2063George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’43.9933.73429

First practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’40.259

+0.167 Sebastian Vettel – 1’40.426

+0.666 Lewis Hamilton – 1’40.925

+1.077 Valtteri Bottas – 1’41.336

+1.208 Alexander Albon – 1’41.467

+1.553 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’41.812

+1.707 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’41.966

+1.921 Lando Norris – 1’42.180

+2.046 Daniil Kvyat – 1’42.305

+2.118 Pierre Gasly – 1’42.377

+2.268 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’42.527

+2.371 Romain Grosjean – 1’42.630

+2.418 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’42.677

+2.527 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’42.786

+2.532 Lance Stroll – 1’42.791

+2.891 Kevin Magnussen – 1’43.150

+3.077 Robert Kubica – 1’43.336

+3.110 Sergio Perez – 1’43.369

+3.359 Charles Leclerc – 1’43.618

+3.734 George Russell – 1’43.993

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2019 Singapore Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Verstappen begins Singapore weekend on top as Bottas crashes”

  1. Bottas crash very similar to belgium’s. slow times, new drs but the tyres are a lot harder this year. the ferrari scoop visibily pushes the nose down. that gearbox crunch!
    wider fov on the onboards, reminiscent of old onboards, good job fom.

    1. @peartree Too early to jump to definite conclusions on the lap times given how early into the race-weekend we are so far. They will definitely get faster and faster as the track rubbers in and the teams start exercising more outright pace from the cars, i.e., using higher engine-modes, etc.

      1. @jerejj guess times are slow, not just the “tyre” Horner says it’s the simplified front wing.
        @jureo wider fov on the mercs
        Erikje you’re right and as usual they got shaky and started zooming in on saturday, I hate when I can’t see 2 wheels in shot let alone the corner.

        1. @peartree Why would the effects of that have only started to show over the most recent race-weekends, not really earlier in the season?

          1. @jerejj Croft asked just that, Horner replied live during Q that a track like requires front downforce, he even compared the current wings to 80’s wings… qualifying wasn’t going well.

    2. Wider FOV? that is amazing, I need to find some footage now.

      Mercedes is doing the usual struggling on Friday – pole on Saturday.

      Kubica and Hulkenberg, now without a seat are moving along fast.

    3. But i have seen a lot of director errors.. every time the first sector time disappears.
      A lot of shots of a corner without a car ( seconds later) etc.. FOM still has some work at hand there.

  2. After he returned to the track he covered 14 laps before a snap of oversteer at turn 19 put him into the barrier hard.

    I’ve never been a fan of the Singapore circuit but have struggled to understand why and after reading this it finally clicked. I can’t picture the accident because I have no idea what this corner looks like or how it relates to the next ones. And that’s it, for all the spectacle the circuit itself has absolutely no character.

    I’m fairly confident I could draw circuits like silverstone, monza, montreal and even the newer US and Mexico GPs from memory and be fairly close. But Singapore not a clue.

    1. “I can’t picture the accident because I have no idea what this corner looks like or how it relates to the next ones.” Just think of them all as 90 degree corners and you’ll get the picture.

      1. But @kaiie was it a right or a left and was it a Heineken or a Rolex ad on the barriers, I need to know these things :p

    2. I know there are two corners that are so close it looks almost as if it’s a figure-8 circuit like Suzuka, but beyond that I’m the same. Even driving it in games, I’m never quite sure what comes next, and I can usually pick up the basic layout of a track after a couple of laps.

    3. I agree, watching Singapore GPs is like watching cars in dark tunnels (but not as exciting as “The Italian Job”) because it’s night time you only see the brightly lit road, not the surroundings. At least that is how it appears on TV.

    4. @yossarian, strange.. i think there is a lot of “”character”” in the bay marina circuit. A lot of technical corners one after the other.
      You have to be on top of your game every lap. if not ( look at the Grosjean error when his engineer called him in a corner) you will crash. The Bottas crash was one of those moments a driver is catched off guard.

      1. The funny thing is I agree with you, it definitely appears to be a challenge for drivers and teams. And I would say it deserves its place on the calendar a lot more than some. I just personally don’t like it for the above reason.

  3. Bad luck for Charles but overall good signs for Ferrari, the car doesn’t look as bad as most thought before FP1 (myself included). It will be interesting to see how Leclerc compares to Vettel on this track, definately one of his favourites in the RedBull era.

  4. Don frika del prima
    20th September 2019, 12:10

    I wonder why Verstappen’s time didn’t get canceled. He was clearly off the track with all tyres.

    1. probably because that route is deemed slower

      1. Wouldn’t be surprised if some in F1 thought that a faster but longer line is slower.

    2. I wonder why some people even care about cancelling FP times :P

      1. Don frika del prima
        20th September 2019, 15:07

        I care about track limits.

        1. Track limits will count if you have an advantage . He did not and as Coldfly mentioned: its free practice.

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