THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Raikkonen fastest on Friday after Vettel hits trouble

FORMULA ONE: Kimi Raikkonen led the way in Friday practice for the Singapore Grand Prix but a crash by Sebastian Vettel halfway through the evening session ensured Ferrari’s day ended bittersweet.

Formula-One
By Michael Lamonato

Saturday 15 September 2018, 10:30AM


The Finn overcame some lost time in free practice one to a floor change to set the fastest time of the day — a lap of 1 minute 38.699 seconds — to beat title leader Lewis Hamilton by just 0.011 seconds. Photo:Naratip Golf Srisupab / SEALs Sports Images

The Finn overcame some lost time in free practice one to a floor change to set the fastest time of the day — a lap of 1 minute 38.699 seconds — to beat title leader Lewis Hamilton by just 0.011 seconds. Photo:Naratip Golf Srisupab / SEALs Sports Images

The Finn overcame some lost time in free practice one to a floor change to set the fastest time of the day — a lap of 1 minute 38.699 seconds — to beat title leader Lewis Hamilton by just 0.011 seconds.

“For sure it could have been even a bit better,” Raikkonen said. “I went on the kerbs on the fastest lap, so I lost quite a bit of time.

“I think it will be close [with Mercedes]. We just need to get things in order, fix a few areas, but I think the tyres were what we expected and seemed to work pretty okay.”

But Hamilton’s proximity to the Finn was a particularly pleasing result for Mercedes given it has struggled for pace in Singapore in recent seasons. The Silver Arrows notably spent the first practice session focusing on long-run pace on the durable soft-compound tyre, shunning the qualifying hypersoft tyre for the entire 90 minutes.

Vettel, Hamilton’s only remaining championship challenger, didn’t set a representative time after he crashed during his qualifying simulation run.

The German slid sideways into the barriers on the exit of the penultimate corner, and though there was little visible exterior damage, his Ferrari began spilling pink radiator fluid as he limped back to the pits 43 minutes into the 90-minute practice session.

His team wasn’t able to complete repairs with enough time to send Vettel out again, ending his evening early.

“Obviously it was a bit more than just a kiss!” the four-time Singapore winner said. “We lost some time, which is not ideal, but nevertheless I think I got a good feel for the car.

“Tomorrow I think it will be key to find the right balance and to feel the car a little bit better than this evening.”

With Vettel out of the picture at the top of the time sheet, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were able to set the third and fourth-fastest times, but the Red Bull Racing drivers were more than half a second off the pace.

Though Ricciardo said is team demonstrated strong race pace, he admitted qualifying remained a concern.

QSI International School Phuket

“On the tyres we’re looking as good if not better than everyone, but if we don’t qualify in the top two or top three, it’s probably not that important,” he said.

“Qualifying is nearly as important as Monaco around here. Race pace is all right, but we’ve got to sort out the one-lap pace.

“I think we will, but a bit of work to do tonight.”

Valtteri Bottas ended the day fifth and 0.669 seconds off the pace, but the Finn compromised his fastest lap by running wide out of the last corner.

Carlos Sainz led the midfield for Renault, albeit with a time 1.5 seconds slower than Raikkonen’s headline lap. The Spaniard kept at bay Haas’s Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, the trio separated by one-tenth intervals.

Vettel finished ninth after his crash, and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.

Force India brought a significant update package to Singapore, but its performance on the slow and twisty circuit was uninspiring. Sergio Perez was 11th and more than two seconds off the pace; Esteban Ocon was one-tenth slower in 13th.

Sauber ended the day with Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc in 12th and 14th respectively ahead of Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

Toro Rosso was disappointed to end the day 17th and 18th given expectations the slow circuit would suit the underpowered Honda engine and the team’s efficient chassis, but neither Brendon Hartley nor Pierre Gasly could lap within 0.4 seconds of the rest of the midfield.

Williams ended the day slowest, with Lance Stroll leading Sergey Sirotkin in 19th and 20th.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Still no charges for taxi driver who wiped out six vehicles, killed motorcyclist

As with every other law in Phuket (parking, speeding etc).... one rule for taxis and one rule for th...(Read More)


Saudi teen runaway leaves for Canada

A happy ending, let us hope she isn't a victim of some more patriarchal BS in way of "honor...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

"Well no," well yes, it seems have a problem, first stating incorrectly sect 1336, now ign...(Read More)


Still no charges over deadly collision in Chalong that killed two tourists

One of the biggest problems in Thailand is the fact that influential people can do anything they wan...(Read More)


Local residents angered over open sewer stench

They should check out the Khlongs in kamala as well. Sweetwater Canals they are not. More inane ...(Read More)


Saudi teen runaway leaves for Canada

Hahaha,chewing letters? If one can't even correctly repeat his own writings,what else can i say....(Read More)


Six houses destroyed by fire

khun Dek is missing the point. It is all about own responsibility to have your shed, when you are &...(Read More)


Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

Dressed in uniforms, not plain clothed. No local police available ( of course not, they are paid for...(Read More)


Local residents angered over open sewer stench

A history of filth, more than 6 years! How many meetings of multi dozens of Officials in overdecorat...(Read More)