In a thrilling Free Practice 2 session at the Singapore Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz showed his prowess on the track by topping the charts with a blistering lap time of 1 minute and 32.120 seconds. What made this performance even more remarkable was that it came during the soft-tyre phase of running, where Sainz faced fierce competition from his teammate Charles Leclerc.
Despite some challenges in the first and second sectors of the track, Sainz managed to maintain his position at the top. What added extra spice to this practice session was the timing – it occurred under the same conditions as the upcoming qualifying and race, making FP2 a crucial representative practice session.
Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, had a strong run on the medium compound tires. He made a late surge with the yellow-walled tires, surpassing his teammate Sainz by approximately a quarter of a second. It was a reversal of fortunes for Sainz, who had initially dominated the timing boards in the early phases of the session.
Sainz had set a blistering pace earlier, clocking in at 1 minute and 33.213 seconds after starting with a 1 minute and 33.303 seconds lap. However, it was Leclerc who broke the 1 minute and 33-second barrier first, with a lap time of 1 minute and 32.974 seconds.
After a brief intermission, the field returned to the track with the soft compound tires, simulating their qualifying runs as the track conditions continued to cool. Sainz led the way, with Leclerc hot on his heels. In a nail-biting finish, Sainz managed to hold on to his lead, despite Leclerc’s valiant efforts.
Leclerc’s attempt to overthrow Sainz’s reign at the top came close but was thwarted by a snap at Turns 18 and 19, followed by a rattling ride over the curbs just moments before crossing the start-finish line. This cost him dearly, leaving him trailing by a mere 0.018 seconds.
The Ferraris continued to impress as they took a second lap on the soft tires, but neither driver managed to improve their lap times, ensuring their positions at the summit of the timing boards for the remainder of the session.
George Russell, driving for Mercedes, put in a commendable effort, finishing just 0.235 seconds behind the Ferraris. Despite some moments of wayward driving, Russell managed to relegate two-time champion Fernando Alonso to fourth place overall.
Lewis Hamilton, a four-time Singapore Grand Prix winner, secured the fifth-fastest time, edging out McLaren’s Lando Norris, who was armed with the latest upgrades from the Woking squad.
Meanwhile, Red Bull struggled to find the front-running pace they were hoping for, particularly dealing with a slippery rear end. Max Verstappen had his share of troubles, with his RB19 failing to grip the Turn 13 apex during one of his early runs, causing him to slide wide on the exit as he lit up the rear tires.
Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s teammate, also grappled with a twitchy car and expressed his discomfort, stating that he felt like he was on the verge of crashing in every braking zone. Despite these challenges, Perez managed to outpace Verstappen in this session.
In the lower ranks, Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top 10, with Bottas sandwiched between two Haas cars. Nico Hulkenberg claimed the 11th position overall.
Alex Albon found himself at the bottom of the order, as a power unit issue prevented him from setting a representative qualifying simulation on the soft tires, resulting in his fastest lap being set on the hard compound.
As the teams and drivers continue to fine-tune their setups and strategies, it’s clear that the battle for pole position and victory at the Singapore Grand Prix promises to be a closely contested affair, with Ferrari making a strong statement in FP2.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Singapore Grand Prix FP2
What is the significance of FP2 in the Singapore Grand Prix?
FP2, or Free Practice 2, in the Singapore Grand Prix is a crucial practice session for Formula 1 teams and drivers. It’s significant because it takes place under the same conditions as the upcoming qualifying and race, which means the track temperature and other variables closely resemble what the teams will face in the most critical moments of the weekend. This session allows teams to fine-tune their setups, test different tire compounds, and gather data to develop their race strategies.
How did Carlos Sainz perform in FP2, and why is it noteworthy?
Carlos Sainz delivered an impressive performance in FP2 by setting the fastest lap time of 1 minute and 32.120 seconds. What makes it noteworthy is that he achieved this on soft tires during the session. Despite facing competition from his teammate Charles Leclerc and dealing with challenges in the first and second sectors of the track, Sainz managed to maintain his lead. This performance highlights Sainz’s skill and the competitive edge of the Ferrari team.
Who challenged Carlos Sainz for the top spot in FP2?
Charles Leclerc, Sainz’s Ferrari teammate, was his primary challenger for the top spot in FP2. Leclerc initially set the pace on medium compound tires and later made a late surge with soft tires. While he came extremely close to surpassing Sainz’s lap time, a minor mistake in the final corners of the track cost him the top position by just 0.018 seconds.
How did other notable drivers perform in FP2?
- George Russell, driving for Mercedes, secured the third-fastest time, just 0.235 seconds behind Sainz.
- Two-time champion Fernando Alonso finished in fourth place.
- Lewis Hamilton, a four-time Singapore Grand Prix winner, took the fifth-fastest time.
- Lando Norris from McLaren completed the top six.
What were the challenges faced by the Red Bull Racing team in FP2?
The Red Bull Racing team encountered difficulties in finding the desired front-running pace during FP2. They struggled with a slippery rear end, which affected both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Verstappen faced issues with grip in one of the turns, while Perez described his car as “nervous” and expressed concerns about braking. Despite these challenges, Perez outpaced Verstappen in this session.
Who completed the top 10 in FP2?
The top 10 in FP2 included:
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1 Team)
- Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
- Nico Hulkenberg (Haas F1 Team)
Why did Alex Albon end up at the bottom of the order in FP2?
Alex Albon found himself at the bottom of the order in FP2 due to a power unit issue that prevented him from setting a representative qualifying simulation on soft tires. As a result, his fastest lap was set on the harder compound tires, impacting his overall performance in this session.
What can we expect from the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix based on FP2 results?
Based on the results of FP2, it’s clear that Ferrari has shown strong competitiveness, with Carlos Sainz setting the pace. However, it’s important to note that FP2 is just one session, and the true outcome of the race will depend on various factors, including strategy, tire management, and the performance of all teams during the qualifying and race sessions. The close competition among top teams and drivers suggests an exciting and closely contested Singapore Grand Prix.
More about Singapore Grand Prix FP2
- Formula 1 Official Website: The official source for Formula 1 news, updates, and race information.
- Singapore Grand Prix: The official website of the Singapore Grand Prix, providing details about the race, schedule, and tickets.
- Ferrari: The official website of the Ferrari Formula 1 team, offering insights into the team’s performance and drivers.
- Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team: The official website of the Mercedes Formula 1 team, featuring news and updates on their drivers and performance.
- Red Bull Racing: The official Red Bull Racing website, providing information on their team, drivers, and race results.
- Singapore Grand Prix on Wikipedia: Wikipedia’s page on the Singapore Grand Prix, offering historical and background information about the race.
- Max Verstappen: Profile of Max Verstappen on the Red Bull Racing website.
- Sergio Perez: Profile of Sergio Perez on the Red Bull Racing website.
- George Russell: Profile of George Russell on the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team website.
- Carlos Sainz: Profile of Carlos Sainz on the Ferrari website.
- Charles Leclerc: Profile of Charles Leclerc on the Ferrari website.
- Lando Norris: Profile of Lando Norris on the McLaren Formula 1 website.