Sep 25

Formula One teams Singapore Grand Prix free practice report (+results)

Singapore Grand Prix Formula One free practice report

Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Singapore.



Vettel Red Bull 1:48.650

104.324 mph


Alonso Renault 1:48.924



Kovalainen McLaren 1:48.952



Heidfeld BMW 1:49.098



Button Brawn 1:49.311



Webber Red Bull 1:49.317



Rosberg Williams 1:49.333



Glock Toyota 1:49.342



Hamilton McLaren 1:49.358



Kubica BMW 1:49.609



Barrichello Brawn 1:49.616



Sutil Force India 1:49.710



Trulli Toyota 1:49.795



Raikkonen Ferrari 1:49.941



Nakajima Williams 1:50.023



Fisichella Ferrari 1:50.253



Buemi Toro Rosso 1:50.527



Liuzzi Force India 1:50.605



Grosjean Renault 1:50.972



Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:51.423


coming soon

source: mclaren.com

coming soon

source: shell.com


In the heat of the tropical night the first two free practice sessions for the Singapore Grand Prix took place. The BMW Sauber F1 Team is competing with the biggest development package of the season for the F1.09.

The mechanics on both cars had a busy day when they had to change the gearbox on Nick Heidfeld’s car during the first session and a failing gearbox sensor on Robert Kubica’s car at the beginning of the second session.

Nick Heidfeld:
BMW Sauber F1.09-07 / BMW P86/9
1st Free Practice: 14th, 1:51.656 min / 2nd Free Practice: 4th, 1:49.098 min
I really enjoy the track, it is great fun driving here, although it is still bumpy and was extremely dusty. I think our performance doesn’t look too bad, although we had several types of problems in the first session. Besides having to change the gearbox, there was also trouble with the floor and tyre pressures.

But for the second session we got several things right. I did my fastest lap quite early on new tyres, and was leading for a long time until some of the other drivers did their runs on new tyres towards the end of the session.”

Robert Kubica:
BMW Sauber F1.09-08 / BMW P86/9
1st Free Practice: 8th, 1:50.870 min / 2nd Free Practice: 10th, 1:49.609 min
The track today was very dirty and the grip was poor. There was a lot of dust off the racing line especially at the start of the day, but it was also the same in the second session. The track surface is better than last year but it is still quite bumpy. We had a small problem in the beginning of the second session with a gearbox sensor, but it was fixed quickly and we were able to finish our programme.”

Willy Rampf (Head of Engineering):
We brought a comprehensive development programme for the F1.09 to Singapore. From an aerodynamics point of view, this comprises a new front wing, more deeply undercut sidepods, a further developed double diffuser and a modified rear wing. Added to which, the F1.09 also has a totally new and more compact gearbox.

For the drivers it is, of course, a challenge to get used to the heavily modified car. We gained important indications, but are not where we want to be. There is still a lot of work ahead of us. However, this is not unusual if you bring such a large modified package.”

Singapore Grand Prix – Free Practice, Friday – 25.09.09
Weather: dry, 30-31°C Air, 29-34°C Track, Humidity 63-69%

source: bmw-sauber.com

The Renault F1 Team completed a busy day of practice in preparation for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso, R2904
Free practice 1: 16 laps, 1:50.567, P4
1 installation lap
Run 1: 8 laps, new hard tyres
Run 2: 7 laps, same hard tyres, adjustment to front wing

Free Practice 2: 27 laps, 1:48.924, P2
Run 1: 7 laps, new hard tyres
Run 2: 10 laps, same hard tyres, change to rear ride-height
Run 3: 1 lap, new soft tyres
Run 4: 3 laps, scrubbed hard tyres, front camber adjustment
Run 5: 5 laps, new soft tyres, change to front anti-roll bar

Fernando: “Today we completed a normal Friday programme for a street circuit. The track was very dirty and slippery in both the sessions, which always makes it difficult to learn about the car and improve the balance and I had a lot of oversteer. However, I think we made the most of the track time available and we are in reasonable shape for tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean, R2903
Free practice 1:  9 laps, 1:53.548, P20
1 Installation lap
Run 1:  7 laps, new hard tyres

Free Practice 2: 17 laps, 1:50.972, P19
Run 1: 4 laps, new hard tyres
Run 2: 6 laps, same hard tyres
Run 3: 6 laps, new soft tyres

Romain: “Today was my first experience of the Singapore circuit. Unfortunately I made a small error in the first session which cost me a lot of time. Then in the afternoon we had several mechanical problems, which limited my running. Despite all this, I tried to learn the circuit, which is particularly difficult. We still have a lot of work to do but it will be possible to find some more speed for tomorrow. I also hope that the practice starts we did today will help us for the race.”

Bob Bell, Team Principal
“Today didn’t quite go as planned. Romain had an accident in the first session which ruined a good part of that session. When he came out in the second session he had other issues with the car meaning that he didn’t get as much running as he would have liked. Today was all about giving him time on the circuit so this was unfortunate.

“For Fernando, his day was difficult as he had a lot of oversteer and lacked rear-end grip. So overall it wasn’t an easy day but we’ll work overnight to get on top of the balance issues and ensure we have a better balance tomorrow.”

source: renaultf1.com

Panasonic Toyota Racing drove into the night when practice for the Singapore Grand Prix began on the Marina Bay Street Circuit today. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock got their first taste of the track in 2009 configuration in daylight at the start of first practice but the sun set during the session, which ended in darkness.

A 12-minute delay due to a red flag slightly disrupted a programme of set-up analysis and aerodynamic comparisons during a session where humidity reached 71% and air temperatures hit 31°C. Marina Bay is used for racing only once a year so track conditions improved significantly throughout the two sessions as a clean line was established and tyre rubber put down.

After using only the soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres in the opening session, second practice gave the drivers a chance to compare those with the super soft rubber; the same combination as used already on the streets of Monaco and Valencia. Another red flag eliminated 10 minutes from second practice but the team nevertheless completed all its planned work without trouble.

Jarno Trulli – Car 9, Chassis TF109-06
1st Practice: 16th, 1m 52.135s, (+1.956s) 20 laps
2nd Practice: 13th, 1m 49.795s (+1.145s), 29 laps

“It was a standard Friday session for me where I worked to evaluate the tyres and set-up. We still have to improve the handling and the set-up because the car didn’t feel perfect for me. There was very little grip from the track, especially in the first session when the surface was extremely dusty.

“That made it hard to get good traction and I had some oversteering. But the conditions will improve as the weekend goes on and we have to make changes to get the most out of our car here. We will study all the information and try to make the right adjustments.”

Timo Glock – Car 10, Chassis TF109-05
1st Practice: 15th, 1m 52.083s (+1.904s), 20 laps
2nd Practice: 8th, 1m 49.342s (+0.692s), 30 laps

“I am pretty pleased with how things have turned out today. The first practice session was a bit difficult to really analyse the car and I don’t think the track conditions helped. The car didn’t feel bad but the lap time just didn’t seem to be there. But in second practice it was much better overall.

“The car felt more together, the track conditions improved a lot and we ran through our whole programme. I am quite happy with the car at the moment but obviously we want to get more performance out of it before qualifying and the race. We have to analyse some set-up changes to understand which direction to take then we will see how things go tomorrow.”
Dieter Gass – Chief Engineer Race and Test

“Overall it was a positive day for us. As usual on a street circuit, and as was the case here last year, the track conditions evolved a lot during the two sessions and this will continue over the rest of the weekend. Everything went well with our new update package which is always good, especially when you consider there is no track testing possible.

“We put the updates on the car for the first time today and it all worked fine which is a credit to everyone who has worked hard on this. Obviously with a new package you have even more data to study and you have to look really carefully at it to decide on the next steps before qualifying, so we still have plenty of work to do but I am optimistic for the weekend.”

source: toyota-f1.com

Sebastien Buemi (STR4-03)
“It has been more or less what I expected from my first time driving here at night, with  no  problems  in  terms  of  visibility,  although  you  have  to  be  very  careful  in judging  your  braking  points. The  track is more  like  Monaco  than  Valencia, with some bumps and tight corners. It is a difficult circuit, made more complicated by the heat.

The track offered very little grip today, but it will improve as it rubbers in. I  felt  more  comfortable  in  the  second  session,  having  learned  the  track  in  the morning. The  last  few  races have  not been  too  good for  us,  so  I hope  we  can make a step forward here.”

First Practice Session
Best lap 1.51.643, pos. 13th, 28 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap 1.50.527, pos. 17th, 29 laps

Jaime Alguersuari (STR4-02)
“Today was doubly difficult for me, as this is a street circuit and it is also new to me. Tyre degradation was my main problem, caused by the high temperatures, so I would find myself going from understeer to oversteer. It’s been tough, as the easiest  thing  to  do  here  is  to  crash  and  I’ve  worked  hard  to  stay  on  the  track.

Every run I get a bit better, so I hope I can make good progress before the race. As for it being my first time driving under floodlights, it was no problem.”

First Practice Session
Best lap 1.53.232, pos. 19th, 25 laps
Second Practice Session
Best lap 1.51.423, pos. 20th, 31 laps

source: tororosso.com

Car 15 SEBASTIAN VETTEL 1st Practice P5, 2nd Practice P1

“We can see from the times that the track is a little bit slower here than it was last year, which is a shame because some of the faster corners are now not so quick, but overall the character has remained the same.

“It’s a challenging track – quite stop and go – you don’t experience as much G-force here as on other circuits, but there are a lot of bumps, which don’t make your life easy, but I like the circuit a lot. Overall, it was a good day for us and we look better here than we did in Monza.”

First Practice Session
Position: 5, Best Time: 1:50.614, Laps: 16,
Chassis No. 1
Second Practice Session
Position: 1, Best Time 1:48.650, Laps: 31,
Chassis No. 1

Car 14 MARK WEBBER 1st Practice P3, 2nd Practice P6

“I was pushing a little bit too hard in the second practice, it was a bit slippery off line and I went off in the last corner and into the pit wall, which ended my session. The car was going well up until then; I was quick and both Sebastian and I had pretty good practice sessions.

“I would have liked to have done a bit more mileage, but in the end we still learned quite a bit and we’ll be back tomorrow. I think it should be a good race for us, it will be interesting as the tyres are not massively easy to handle here, so we’ll have to work on that tonight. But, overall, not too bad.”

First Practice Session
Position: 3, Best Time: 1:50.416, Laps: 21,
Chassis No. 2
Second Practice Session
Position: 6, Best Time: 1:49.317, Laps: 14,
Chassis No. 2

 source: redbullracing.com

Objectives P1

• Aero and mechanical set-up, performance evaluation of new aero components

Objectives P2

• Tyre test, evaluation of aero and mechanical set-up

Conclusions – Patrick Head, Director of Engineering:

“We did our homework with the tyres today and they both look pretty good for the track, maybe the harder one is a bit more stable. We have also been experimenting with some different mechanical settings on the car and we know pretty much what we are going to do on Sunday. Tomorrow we will be focusing on speed for qualifying. The car is behaving as we would have expected but it’s too early to say where we are. We’ll get a better idea tomorrow.”

Nico Rosberg:

Runs P1: 1 New prime, 1 lap, I install, 2 new prime, 6 laps, baseline, 3 scrubbed prime, 9 laps, mechanical set-up test, 4 scrubbed prime, 7 laps, mechanical/aero balance test and fuel system check

Runs P2: 1 Scrubbed prime, 5 laps, baseline, 2 new prime, 10 laps, long run, 3 new option, 9 laps, long run, 4 new option 4 laps qualifying simulation, 5 scrubbed option, 5 laps, mechanical set-up

“The first session started off pretty poorly but we made some changes and began to find some direction. Although we knew we’d be back on the pace here, by the end of the day we had concluded a good tyre test and found some improved performance from set-up changes, so I am pleased that we had a good day. I had a bit of a moment towards the end of the second session and touched the wall a little bit but didn’t damage the car – just scratched the front wing a bit – but as Frank says, ‘If you don’t touch the wall, you are not going fast enough!”

Kazuki Nakajima:

Runs P1: 1 New prime, 1 lap, install, 2 scrubbed prime, 8 laps, baseline, 3 scrubbed prime, 9 laps, aero set-up and component test, 4 scrubbed prime, 7 laps, mechanical set-up, fuel system check

Runs P2: 1 Scrubbed prime, 5 laps, baseline, 2 new prime, 9 laps, long run, 3 new option, 13 laps, long run, 4, new option, 7 laps, qualifying simulation

“It is physically very tough out there and they were two hard sessions today. However, I believe I have prepared well and the conditions should not be too much of a problem. We still have some work to do on the tyres, but our long run pace was positive today and hopefully we continue our engineering progress tomorrow.”

AIR & TRACK TEMP 310C /30 – 340C 300C / 29 – 300C
WEATHER Clear Clear
R Barrichello 1:50.179
J Button 1:50.356
M Webber 1:50.416
S Vettel 1:48.650
F Alonso 1:48.924
H Kovalainen 1:48.952
N ROSBERG 1:51.427 (11th) 23 LAPS 1:49.333 (7th) 33 LAPS Chassis FW31-03 Engine H474
K NAKAJIMA 1:51.089 (10th) 25 LAPS 1:50.023 (15th) 34 LAPS Chassis FW31-04 Engine H456

 source: attwilliams.com

The lights of Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit were flicked into action today for the opening day of practice ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Tonio Liuzzi used the two 90 minute sessions, which both experienced red flag periods, to familiarise himself with the twists and turns of the 23-turn, 5.067km circuit, which he had never driven before today. He steadily bettered his times over the day as he got to grips with both the track and the VJM02 in high downforce configuration. The Italian posted the 18th quickest time in both sessions.

Adrian Sutil used the morning to evaluate the new aero upgrade package available this weekend, which features floor, diffuser and bodywork modifications, however he was frustrated by traffic on his flying laps and finished a disapppointed 12th quickest. The afternoon proved a little more rewarding as he was able to complete his practice programme of long and short runs and tyre evaluation, but he still lost out to traffic to finish the afternoon in 12th position.

Adrian Sutil (car 20)
I was quite pleased with the car but it is difficult to judge the rear grip as we are still having some problems with graining, particularly on the soft tyre compound. We still have a lot of work to do but it’s only Friday. I think we can do much better and get a bit closer to the front.

I feel I could definitely have done a quicker lap time as the traffic was really bad and I always lost my first and second laps. I still believe we can get into the points and we would still like to be in the top 10 in qualifying; that’s obviously our goal for the weekend.

Tonio Liuzzi (car 21)
It was quite OK today. The most important thing for me was to learn the circuit and get used to the track, the bumps and the kerbs and I think we are going in the right direction. We struggled a little with the balance, which didn’t help, but we did a lot of tests and tried to understand the tyres.

I think we were on a good learning curve and tomorrow will be much, much better. We have a lot of work to do as we are not spot on with the balance just yet, but we have all night to think about it!

Dominic Harlow, chief race engineer
For the start of Friday practice today the track here in Singapore was quite green and dusty. It was therefore low grip with a bit of an oversteer balance and this was the target for initial set-up work, as well as stabilising the various car systems for race conditions.

Tonio used the first session for some familiarisation, as he had not driven here before today, and Adrian looked at some development components. In the second session our tyre comparisons and set-up work continued. There is still plenty of room for improvement, but our performance in race trim already looks promising.

Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01):
FP1: 12th  1:51.544  (14 laps)
FP2: 12th 1:49.710  (31 laps)
Tonio Liuzzi (car 21, VJM02/04):
FP1: 18th 1:52.905  (23 laps)
FP2: 18th 1:50.605  (28 laps)

source: forceindiaf1.com

Brawn GP’s Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello took to the track under the floodlights of the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore this evening for the first of the practice sessions ahead of Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.

The first practice session got underway at 18:00hrs in relative daylight which darkened over the course of the ninety minutes. Running with the Brawn-Mercedes cars in a high downforce configuration suited to the demands of the slow and twisty nature of the 23-turn circuit, Jenson and Rubens worked through a series of set-up evaluations with Rubens topping the timesheets at the end of the session and Jenson in second position.

The second session took place in full darkness at 21:30hrs with the Brawn GP drivers focusing on an evaluation of the soft and super soft Bridgestone Potenza tyre compounds available for this race weekend.

“It’s great to be back in Singapore this weekend and everyone is really enjoying the challenge of the night race and adjusting to our different working hours. We had a pretty full-on evening with a busy programme of set-up evaluations and tyre testing.

“This venue is a tough one with the heat and humidity to contend with and the nature of the circuit and the closeness of the barriers demand your total concentration. The key is achieving consistently quick laps and that’s what we’ve been working on today. The car feels reasonable and with some more work later tonight, we should be ready for a good weekend.”

“The car is feeling pretty good here after the first practice sessions and we’re pleased with the work that we achieved. It was really busy out there today with traffic affecting our programme a little, particularly in the second session, but that was the same for everyone really.

“We’ve been focusing on our pace for Sunday and that’s the most important consideration as we need the car well balanced to be quick in the race. I’m feeling positive and we should be able to achieve the right set-up ready for the weekend. It’s so different to the rest of the year to be racing here at night and it’s been a lot of fun so far.”

“Following on from its successful debut last year, Singapore is once again proving to be a fantastic race venue and the whole team are enjoying the unusual hours that we are working and adjusting our race weekend programme to suit the particular demands of the night race. Looking at the first track activity today, we’re pleased with how the two practice sessions went.

“Both Jenson and Rubens are feeling comfortable with the car and the reliable running throughout both sessions has provided us with a wealth of data to study into the early hours of the morning. This is a circuit which should suit our car provided we get the balance and set-up right for qualifying tomorrow so we’re looking forward to the challenge of the weekend.”

Drivers          Car No. Chassis No.    Free Practice 1         Free Practice 2 
Jenson Button    22    BGP 001-02    22 laps   01:50.356   P2  34 laps 01:49.311   P5 
Rubens Barrichello   23    BGP 001-03    19 laps   01:50.179   P1  30 laps 01:49.616   P11 
Weather        Hot and humid – Max 71.9% humidity 
Temperatures    Air: 30-31°C    Track: 29-34°C

source: brawngp.com