Getty Images

Ricciardo doubles up in second Singapore F1 practice as night falls

Leave a comment

Daniel Ricciardo doubled up for Red Bull in the second Formula 1 practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix, finishing half a second clear of the pack as night fell at Marina Bay.

Ricciardo topped the timesheets in the Red Bull RB13 car in FP1 earlier in the day, and went faster still in the more representative second session, taking place under the lights.

A fastest time of 1:40.852 saw Ricciardo head up a one-two finish for Red Bull, with teammate Max Verstappen following half a second further back.

The tight and twisting nature of the Marina Bay Street Circuit has been expected to favor Red Bull, but the team was able to easily pull clear of Mercedes as both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled.

Hamilton was left to settle for third, seven-tenths of a second off Ricciardo’s time, while Bottas was an additional five-tenths in arrears back in P4.

Not for the first time in 2017, Ferrari did not show its true colors through Friday practice as Kimi Raikkonen took ninth and Sebastian Vettel finished 11th, the latter failing to complete a qualifying simulation.

Vettel had been up on Ricciardo’s time through the first sector, only to hit traffic coming through Turn 14, forcing him to scrap his flying lap.

Vettel tried again minutes later, but clipped the barrier coming out of Turn 7 after losing the rear-end of his Ferrari. While the car was unscathed, the knock did cause an advertising hoarding to fall onto the track, prompting a Virtual Safety Car to be thrown to ensure its safe recovery.

Nico Hulkenberg led Renault to an excellent fifth place in FP2, finishing 1.5 seconds shy of Ricciardo, while the McLaren pair of Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso charged to sixth and seventh respectively, with the team fancying its chances in Singapore.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon gave Force India a double top-10 finish, taking eighth and 10th respectively, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen splitting them in ninth.

Running resumes in Singapore on Saturday afternoon, with FP3 going green at 6am ET on the NBC Sports app.

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

Getty Images
Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.