Daniel Ricciardo made a flying start to Formula 1’s Singapore Grand Prix weekend by topping opening practice for Red Bull at Marina Bay with a new track record.
Red Bull entered the Singapore weekend fancying its chances of putting up a stronger fight to F1 pace-setters Mercedes and Ferrari, with the tight and twisting nature of the street circuit suiting its RB13 chassis well.
Ricciardo showed a good pace throughout FP1, ultimately rising to the top of the timesheets with a best lap of 1:42.489, the fastest time recorded around the Marina Bay Street Circuit’s current configuration.
Ricciardo edged out pre-race favorite Sebastian Vettel at the top of the timesheets, with the Ferrari racer finishing one-tenth of a second off the pace.
Max Verstappen underpinned his Red Bull teammate’s pace by finishing third-fastest, less than two-hundredths of a second back from Vettel, while F1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton wound up fourth for Mercedes.
Sergio Perez made a solid start to the weekend by taking fifth for Force India, finishing ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, who was almost a second off the pace during a raggedy session.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh-fastest for Ferrari ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who reported a loss of engine power, limiting his track time.
Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Renault, while Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10 for Toro Rosso, leading its charge as FP1 stand-in Sean Gelael finished over three seconds behind in P18.
Ferrari youngster Antonio Giovinazzi also appeared in FP1 for Haas, taking Kevin Magnussen’s seat for the session, and finished just three-tenths slower than regular driver Romain Grosjean.
Practice in Singapore continues with FP2 live from 8:30am ET today on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.