Photo: Ferrari

F1: Sainz on Pole as Red Bull both eliminated in Q2

Qualifying One 

Logan Sargent was noted by the stewards for impeding Lance Stroll on a flying lap with just over ten minutes to go in the session, so the Canadian still had time to set another flying lap, but it was a big mistake for Sargent who was already under pressure.

At the five-minute mark of the session, the names in the bottom five were Stroll, Sargent, Albon, Bottas, and Zhou. This was all about the change, as the track just kept improving as the session went on.

Lance Stroll put a stop to the session early in a huge accident coming out of the final corner, as he tried to steer into a side after the car bottomed out, going wide onto the outside kerb, when he corrected, it sent the car straight into the outside wall leaving his Aston Martin in a very poor state and starting at the back of the field.

It was a very disappointing session for Alfa Romeo with neither driver making it through with Bottas in 16th and Zhou in 19th. It was especially disappointing considering the fact they had a new floor, which the Swiss team hoped would help them in the midfield battle.

Oscar Piatsri was the driver that really lost out from the track’s constant improvement as he finished in 17th being unable to complete his final flying lap as a result of Stroll’s accident.

It was a bad session for Sargent, finishing in 18th position with the potential of the American starting even further back depending on the decision from the stewards on his impeding of Stroll.

At the end of this session, Max Verstappen was also in a bit of trouble as he was noted for impeding in the pitlane as he sat at the end of it the greenlight on, as multiple cars waited behind him as he tried to create space to the competitors in front.

several cars were also noted for impeding at the final corner, which looked like a major traffic jam, while cars tried to find space to start their flying lap.

It was a very mixed top three with Tsunoda fastest, Perez in second, and Hulkenberg in third just showing how much the track had improved before Stroll went off.

Qualifying Two

After the first set of flying laps Red Bull didn’t seem to have the pace, as they were in 11th and 10th, with Perez the slower, as things looked very out of the norm for the Milton Keynes team.

Then things got even worse as Max Verstappen was noted again for impeding Tsunoda at the entry to turn five, in a day that was really lacking Red Bull’s usual consistent perfection.

The other drivers with Perez in the bottom five were Hulkenberg, Lawson, Albon, and Tsunoda who hadn’t set a time at this stage of the session.

Perez put the nail in the coffin of his session as he spun at turn three, as he was off line going into turn one and two in a miserable weekend compared to last year for him.

Then it got worse as the Red Bull junior Liam Lawson for the Junior team Alpha Tauri knocked out Max Verstappen who finished the session in 11th position as the dominant Red Bull car looked more like a cow.

joining them both were former Red Bull drivers Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon with them both finishing 12th and 14th. last was Yuki Tsunoda who didn’t set a time in the session after a mistake on his single flying lap.

Qualifying Three

After the first flying laps of Q3 Ferrari was the dominant force as Carlos Sainz was fastest with a 1m:31.170s, +0.251s faster than his teammate Charles Leclerc who was second.

Next was Lando Norris who was also very much in contention as he sat just over three tenths back from the two red cars.

Russell and Hamilton rounded out the top five with some time to find with both of the British teammates with over half a second to find in their lap times.

As it was in the two sessions before this, Carlos Sainz took Pole Position for the Singapore Grand Prix with a time of 1m:30.984s, with George Russell nearly finding that over half a second to only finishing +0.072s behind the Ferrari.

Leclerc was also only a fraction away from starting at the front of the field, with the man from Monaco +0.079s from the pole himself.

Next was Lando Norris in fourth and Lewis Hamilton in fifth with Hamilton just not on the pace of his team-mate with him +0.501s off of the fastest time.

Then rounding out the top ten were Magnussen, Alonso, Ocon, Hulkenberg, and Lawson, with Magnussen’s time being especially impressive as the Dain was only +0.090s off Hamilton.


In case you weren’t around for the practice sessions, here is a recap of the key moments.

Practice One 

Finishing one-two though were the prancing horses of Ferrari, as they come off the back of a great weekend in Monza. Charles Leclerc was fastest with a time of 1m:33.350s, which Sainz was just unable to beat as he was +0.078s a drift in second.

Then came the ever-fast Red Bull of Max Verstappen who again may feel threatened by Ferrari this weekend, with a time good enough for third position just +0.126s off of the fastest Ferrari.

Lando Norris was the faster McLaren, with a fourth-place finish in, this session which should be expected with the Brit running some new major upgrades that look to improve the McLaren’s Performance around slow-speed corners, which Singapore has many of.

In a solid session for both Mercs they finished fifth and sixth respectively with Hamilton being the faster of the two, with Russell being frustrated at one stage as Perez impeded his lap.

Seventh in this session was last year’s winner Sergio Perez who was only +0.249 from his teammate in third.

Fernando Alonso looked to rack up the mileage as he completed 28 laps in FP1, the highest in the session, the Spaniard finished the session a respectable 8th.

Ninth and tenth were Tsunoda and Ocon with whoever’s finishing higher in the race becoming the seventh-highest-scoring constructor in Singapore.

Practice two

It was Sainz’s turn to lead the Ferrari charge with a time of 1m:32.120s, the fastest time of the Friday sessions, with Leclerc just +0.018 behind, as it looks likely Ferrari could equal the most wins for a constructor in Singapore.

George Russell was the best of the rest in third, with a notable point in the session for him being when he ran wide at the exit of the final corner, which flicked the back end of his Mercedes out, with his quick reactions being the only thing that saved him from meeting the outside wall.

Next was a very quick Fernando Alonso in fourth for Silverstone-based Aston Martin, who have never had a podium at this circuit despite their underdog history of amazing results, so could Alonso change that this weekend?

Fifth was Lewis Hamilton who had the joint highest amount of pole positions around the circuit, with four, so he knows how to pedal a car around this track, but that didn’t stop the Brit from running wide at turn seven as he experimented with the Mercedes good pace.

The sole McLaren of Lando Norris was next in sixth at a venue that the papier team has only won at once with Lewis Hamilton in 2009, which could be argued was a very similar season for Mclaren to this one as they started badly but got faster as the season went on.

seventh and eighth were Perez and Verstappen who were both half a second off the pace, but this wasn’t their worst practice session of the season they set times in, as in Hungary Verstappen and Perez finished 11th and 18th.

Kevin Magnussen was ninth at a venue Haas have always seemed to find pace at with the team setting two fastest laps when visiting the venue in their short history.

Then finally with the floor upgrades the Alfa Romeo does seem to have the edge on the Williams this weekend so far as Valtteri Bottas finished Friday in tenth.

Practice Three

For the second session in a row Carlos Sainz topped the times with a 1m:32.065s, with today being a good omen for Ferrari as on this day in 2007 they wrapped up the constructors title.

George Russell was the next car only missing out on the top spot by +0.069s in a very good session for Mercedes before Qualifying today, with this being a circuit he runs well on with the man from King’s Lynn setting the fastest lap of the race last year.

Next with his upgraded McLaren was Lando Norris who is another driver looking good going into Qualifying, Norris could be the first driver since Jenson Button in 2012 to get a podium for the Woking team.

Fourth was Max Verstappen who struggled with his up and downshifting throughout the session, reporting he was “struggling for rear grip” because of it.

Fifth and sixth were Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton who were both +0.316s and +0.470s behind Carlos Sainz.

Oscar Piastri set an extremely impressive time to sit in seventh as he is without the new McLaren upgrades designed to help the car through the slow-speed corners, which Singapore has a lot of.

Eighth and still struggling with his setup as he reported his car felt quite pointy, was Sergio Perez, who at the moment doesn’t look to be able to repeat the win from last year.

Nico Hulkenberg was next in ninth as Haas seemed to be running well at this circuit being best of the rest, along with this being a good circuit for the German as one of his two fastest laps came here in 2012.

Tsunoda finished off the top ten, which could be a sign that he will be able to score his first-ever points at this venue.


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