Singapore GP 2023

SEPTEMBER 15, 2023

Practice 1 Report - Ferraris top Singapore opening practice

Charles Leclerc
© Ferrari

By Peter Habicht

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz led from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in opening practice session this evening at Singapore’s revised Marina Bay Circuit. Lando Norris was fourth fastest in a heavily updated McLaren, with the Mercedes team’s Lewis Hamilton and George Russell behind.

Verstappen teammate Sergio Perez was seventh fastest, followed by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, both driving with major updates, to round out the top ten.

Featuring four fewer corners and a new back straight, the overall lap length has been shortened for this year’s race which will feature an additional lap to create a complete race distance of 62 laps. The deleted section, which used to travel under a grandstand section, has given way to a longer straight along Raffles Boulevard, decreasing lap times as well as driver stress and strain at one of the sport’s most physically demanding circuits where heat and humidity peak in an equatorial climate.

Despite the conditions, drivers were careful to avoid any incidents in the session which saw two local yellow flags brought out in the second sector for monitor lizards crossing the circuit.

Farther down the finishing order were Aston’s Lance Stroll, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, Williams’ Alex Albon and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas. Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen finished ahead of AlphaTauri’s Liam Lawson, who is competing in just his third Grand Prix as teammate Daniel Ricciardo continues to recover from surgery to a broken left hand following his collision at the Dutch GP earlier in the season.

Magnussen teammate Nico Hulkenberg was 17th fastest, followed by Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Williams’ Logan Sargeant.

Free practice two begins under the lights at 9p.