Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Singapore, 2023

Sainz completes Ferrari sweep of all three practice sessions in Singapore

Formula 1

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Carlos Sainz Jnr put Ferrari quickest for the third successive practice session in Singapore, just ahead of George Russell’s Mercedes.

Four cars featured in the top four positions at the end of the final practice session, with George Russell second in the Mercedes, Lando Norris third for McLaren and Max Verstappen only fourth in his Red Bull.

The final hour of practice started with the sun low over the circuit with the Singapore city skyline casting shadows over the track. With conditions warmer that they would likely be over the remainder of the weekend, many drivers seemed content to stay in the pits as the session began.

The two Alfa Romeo drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, were eager to run their first push laps and headed out on soft tyres, with Bottas posting the early benchmark with a 1’35.058. Not long afterwards, some of the established frontrunners took to the track on medium tyres, with Verstappen going quickest with his first lap on a 1’34.402.

Sainz returned to the top spot on the timing sheets, where he ended yesterday’s running, with a 1’33.778 on the medium tyre compound. Verstappen took first position back on his next push lap, going a tenth quicker than the Ferrari driver. On used mediums, Leclerc set a purple first sector but crossed the line three-thousandths of a second slower than the Red Bull driver at the end of the lap.

By now the track was very busy. Mercedes had put their drivers on soft tyres and Russell jumped to the top of the times with a 1’33.440. But his ownership of the fastest time lasted a matter of seconds before Sainz improved on his mediums to go over two tenths quicker with his used mediums.

Liam Lawson suffered a spin at turn two that saw the rookie skid to the outside of the track, but fortunately for AlphaTauri the car stopped before he reached the barriers, allowing him to continue on his way. The two Mercedes then used their soft tyres to claim the top two positions with Russell leading Lewis Hamilton by two tenths with a 1’32.883, still seven tenths of a second slower than Sainz’s best time from yesterday.

With 20 minutes remaining, Mercedes fitted fresh sets of soft tyres to attempt qualifying simulation runs. Russell improved his own best time of the session, posting a 1’32.364, before Hamilton went two tenths slower on his next lap. However, Norris was faster than the pair of the Mercedes, putting his McLaren on top by 0.061s.

Red Bull sent Verstappen out on fresh soft tyres to run his own push lap, but he was only able to improve to fourth-fastest, a tenth of a second behind Hamilton. But Sainz found more pace from the softs than the championship leader, posting a new quickest time of the weekend with a 1’32.065 to go two tenths clear at the top of the times.

In the closing minutes of the session, Leclerc set the fastest first sector time, but abandoned his lap after running wide at turn seven. Despite pushing for a final lap before the chequered flag, Leclerc was unable to improve, leaving him fifth fastest.

At the end of the session, Sainz was quickest for the second session in a row, with Russell less than a tenth of a second slower in second. Norris was third in his upgraded McLaren, with Verstappen fourth after complaining of gear shift problems in his Red Bull. Leclerc was fifth ahead of Hamilton, Oscar Piastri and Perez in eighth, with Nico Hulkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda rounding out the top ten.

2023 Singapore Grand Prix third practice result

155Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariSF-231’32.06523
263George RussellMercedesW141’32.1340.06920
34Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’32.3030.23817
41Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB191’32.3780.31321
516Charles LeclercFerrariSF-231’32.3810.31625
644Lewis HamiltonMercedesW141’32.5350.47018
781Oscar PiastriMcLaren-MercedesMCL601’32.7300.66518
811Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB191’32.7840.71920
927Nico HulkenbergHaas-FerrariVF-231’32.8960.83118
1022Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPTAT041’32.9450.88018
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-231’32.9700.90516
1231Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5231’32.9790.91419
1314Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’33.0510.98619
1418Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR231’33.1261.06123
1510Pierre GaslyAlpine-RenaultA5231’33.3511.28619
1640Liam LawsonAlphaTauri-Honda RBPTAT041’33.3571.29219
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW451’33.3701.30515
1877Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’33.5401.47526
1924Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC431’33.6371.57224
202Logan SargeantWilliams-MercedesFW451’33.7081.64316

2023 Singapore Grand Prix combined practice times

PositionNumberDriverTeamFP1 timeFP2 timeFP3 timeGapLaps
155Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’33.4281’32.1201’32.0651
263George RussellMercedes1’33.6951’32.3551’32.1340.0693
316Charles LeclercFerrari1’33.3501’32.1381’32.3810.0732
44Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.5221’32.7111’32.3030.2386
51Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPT1’33.4761’32.8521’32.3780.3138
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1’33.9741’32.4781’33.0510.4134
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’33.5401’32.5851’32.5350.4705
881Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1’35.4741’33.4611’32.7300.66515
911Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda RBPT1’33.7251’32.8121’32.7840.7197
1027Nico HulkenbergHaas-Ferrari1’34.9851’33.1391’32.8960.83111
1122Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1’34.0421’33.4771’32.9450.88016
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’34.8871’33.0171’32.9700.9059
1331Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’34.0661’33.3611’32.9790.91413
1477Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’34.8021’33.1051’33.5401.04010
1518Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’34.5681’33.3901’33.1261.06114
1640Liam LawsonAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1’34.8941’33.2851’33.3571.22012
1710Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1’34.6391’33.8241’33.3511.28618
1823Alexander AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1’34.6571’35.5581’33.3701.30520
1924Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’35.4561’33.5751’33.6371.51017
202Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1’35.7781’34.3271’33.7081.64319

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2023 Singapore Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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6 comments on “Sainz completes Ferrari sweep of all three practice sessions in Singapore”

  1. Still interesting to see RB struggling so much (relative to where they have been for the rest of the season ofc). While a little higher up the timing sheets today (for Max at least), the car didn’t seem like the easiest to drive either, especially compared to the rest of this season.

    Singapore was always a bogey track for Mercedes during their dominant era, even if when they did end up winning, that was sometimes down to external factors (2017…). I wonder if RB are experiencing a similar situation there this year…

    1. Perhaps TD18?…. At this rate Max will have more Asterisks than a French Junior School Library… :)

      1. IMO there’s no asterisk on 2021, I’m interested in performance and verstappen was the better performing driver that season; if correcting for bad luck, and yes, I’m counting masi’s mistake as bad luck for hamilton, verstappen should’ve won the title mathematically before abu dhabi even started.

        I however don’t value titles won with a dominant car, so 2022 and 2023 have little to no merit, early on in 2022 though he was doing well, was the most deserving driver up to the point where the cars were still evenly matched, with leclerc losing the title already with that spin in france, realistically.

  2. I still expect pole position for Max, but at least zero lizard invasions in final practice.

  3. Four cars featured in the top four positions at the end of the final practice session

    Wouldn’t this only not have been the case if only 3 cars had actually taken part in FP3?

    1. hehe :) guess they meant to say four different teams.

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