Sep 16

Formula One teams Singapore Grand Prix free practice report

Singapore Grand Prix Formula One free practice report

150x80-flagworldf1Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Singapore.



Formula One teams Singapore Grand Prix free practice results

1 Rosberg Mercedes 1:44.152
2 Raikkonen Ferrari + 0.275
3 Verstappen Red Bull + 0.380
4 Ricciardo Red Bull + 0.405
5 Vettel Ferrari + 1.009
6 Hulkenberg Force India + 1.030
7 Hamilton Mercedes + 1.123
8 Sainz Toro Rosso + 1.355
9 Alonso McLaren + 1.627
10 Kvyat Toro Rosso + 1.877
11 Perez Force India + 1.911
12 Button McLaren + 2.422
13 Gutierrez Haas + 2.575
14 Massa Williams + 2.704
15 Bottas Williams + 2.808
16 Magnussen Renault + 3.009
17 Palmer Renault + 3.014
18 Nasr Sauber + 3.379
19 Grosjean Haas + 4.239
20 Ericsson Sauber + 4.335
21 Wehrlein Manor + 4.353
22 Ocon Manor + 4.671.


Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

2016 Singapore Grand Prix – Friday

Close battle in store in Singapore

  • Lewis ended the first session in P4 with Nico P5
  • Nico then set the fastest time of the day in the second session with Lewis P7
  • Lewis was forced to sit out the end of the second session after a hydraulic leak was detected on his car while out on track
  • Both drivers ran the Soft and Ultrasoft compound tyre in the first session, the Soft, SuperSoft and UltraSoft in the second session
Chassis No.
Nico Rosberg
F1 W07 Hybrid/05
22 Laps
34 Laps
Lewis Hamilton
F1 W07 Hybrid/04
24 Laps
10 Laps
Hot, Humid
Air: 28.8 – 32.1 °C
Track: 32.3 – 38.7 °C

Nico Rosberg
It’s been a solid start to the weekend. Definitely better than last year. The first session was going okay until I hit the wall at Turn 18. That wasn’t ideal – but luckily the impact wasn’t too heavy, so I managed to get the car back to the pits and the guys had it ready in time for FP2. The second session felt better but we still have some room for improvement. It’s really close between ourselves, Red Bull and Ferrari – much closer than at some other tracks for sure – so it looks like a big battle ahead. I’m looking forward to it.

Lewis Hamilton
Two relatively good sessions today. Running the halo was no real issue. I barely noticed it, to be honest – just in my mirrors, where it blocked the view slightly. We had a small hydraulic issue at the end of FP2 but it doesn’t look like anything serious. The guys are working on it and it should be fine for tomorrow, which is the main thing. Our pace looked okay today. Definitely much better than last year so I’d say we’re looking relatively strong.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
A busy evening, with a lot of work to do to get our setup correct and study performance on all three tyre compounds – including the Ultrasoft, which appears at this circuit for the first time. It’s completely open in terms of what will be the best tyres for the race, so we have a lot of homework to do. Unfortunately, we lost most of the second session with Lewis’ car due to a hydraulic leak. The issue itself is quite simple to fix but we lost valuable track time – particularly long run experience on the SuperSoft, which had been the plan for Lewis. We do, however, have plenty of data from observing the other teams, so we’ll be busy tonight trying to improve the car further for qualifying and the race. Overall, though, not a bad start to the weekend.

source: mercedesamgf1.com, 2016 photo album

Scuderia Ferrari

Singapore Grand Prix

Marina Bay, 16 September

Kimi Raikkonen 

The first practice session was tricky, I struggled a little bit, but the second practice was good: everything worked and the car was handling pretty well. Here in Singapore, if you get the car right, it’s a lot easier to go faster. Today we had quite a good feeling, but for sure there is still something to improve. It’s hard to say if we can be strong, it’s only Friday, but the feeling was positive. So far so good, but tomorrow is another day, we’ll see where everybody is and then we’ll go from there. We’ll give our best and hopefully we have the speed to challenge our rivals.

Sebastian Vettel 

Overall we had two decent sessions. In the second one I was not entirely happy, I was struggling a little bit with the car balance, and therefore not really finding the rhythm but in general it has been a good day. It is very difficult to pass here, obviously we’ll try to trim everything towards qualifying. Now we have a lot of stuff to look into, before tomorrow comes: there will be another session and the opportunity to do a few more laps. If we get everything right we have a good chance tomorrow to position the car well.

source: formula1.ferrari.com, 2016 photo album

Williams Martini Racing

Singapore GP Practice

Objectives: Aero evaluations, set-up and tyre work.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: It was a fairly normal Friday for us and we didn’t have any big issues. We tested different suspension settings and geometries this afternoon. We also tested some aero upgrades and they seem to have worked well, so that’s a boost for this stage of the season. But, apart from that, it was just about trying to get the tyres ready for the first timed lap and trying to make them last for the longer runs. This is a low-speed street circuit so that first timed lap is really tricky and that’s what we need to work on. Looking at our high-fuel pace, I would say it’s reasonable for a circuit like this, so the low fuel pace will definitely be our priority tonight to ensure we understand the set-up of the car and the tyre management for optimising the first timed lap.

Felipe Massa: It’s always tricky to understand Friday in Singapore. You always need to work hard to understand the tyres here. We have a lot to do to improve the car for the short runs, especially with the new tyres. The long run had a better feeling, I think we were quite competitive but we don’t know the fuel of any other cars. It’s difficult to overtake here, so for both tomorrow and for the race the most important thing now is for us to have a better understanding of the tyres.

Valtteri Bottas: It was a tricky day today. We really struggled with the car balance all day and we didn’t finish today happy with it. We’ve been doing different kinds of tests and set-up changes to try and get the car to work well, but it’s been difficult.

source: williamsf1.com, 2016 photo album

01 - Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing


First Practice Session: 1:45.823, Position: 1, Laps: 25
Second Practice Session: 1:44.532, Position: 3, Laps: 29
“It was a positive day for us and we can be happy with the balance of the car. For FP2 we weren’t fully there but we know what areas we need to work on and improve. But the car felt good, we are more or less there and we had a good start to the weekend. The tyres worked really well as well, I was happy with the ultrasofts, there was quite a difference between them and the supersofts. I think it will be an interesting battle between us, Mercedes and Ferrari, and I’m looking forward to it.”

First Practice Session: 1:45.872, Position: 2, Laps: 27
Second Practice Session: 1:44.557, Position: 4, Laps: 26
“This circuit is always difficult. You’re pushing the limit on a street circuit and you want to be comfortable in qualifying so today is the day to experiment. I had a bit of a spin and touched the barrier but the car was more or less okay. It’s hot, it’s tricky and everything is a little bit on the edge here for sure, but to find a few tenths on this circuit can be quite easy, because there are so many corners and with the tyres overheating in the last sector you can lose or gain a lot. We still feel that we can get a little bit more speed out of the car so that’s what tonight is for. Even if we find a few small things, then they will hopefully add up to quite a bit of lap time here tomorrow.”


Bring on the night… and the heat, and the long hours

The Singapore Grand Prix is a proper racing challenge, putting huge pressure on car, driver and team due to its unique demands of racing at night under lights, in intense heat and over a long period. It’s a tough one to top but we reckon we can go brighter, hotter and longer. Here are Singapore’s rivals…

Bright: Last year festive season freak David Richards of Australia set a new standard for the world’s largest display of Christmas lights on an artificial tree. Christmas-mad Richards strung his huge tree with 518,838 individual lights to earn himself a spot in the record books. Richards’ tree, which was built to raise awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, required a crew of architects, electrical and civil engineers, designers, and volunteers to complete and its half a million lights were more than enough to beat the previous record of 374,280 by Universal Studios Japan in October 2015.

Brighter: The Marina Bay Street Circuit’s lighting might be impressively bright but it’s put in the shade by the city of Singapore itself, which is officially one of the mostly brightly lit cities on the planet. In a survey of highly illuminated cities published in Science Advances it was ruled that Singapore is so well lit at night that residents never truly adapt to darkness (when eye rods take over from eye cones)!

Hot: It’s hot here in Singapore, with in-car temps regularly topping 50˚C but it’s nothing compared to the heat of the fearsome Carolina Reaper, officially the World’s Hottest Pepper as ranked by Guinness Records. There is nothing normal about this pepper. It was bred specifically for heat and has an average Scoville Heat Unit (the standard measure of chili heat) of over 1.5 million, with peaks hitting 2.2 Million SHU! As a frame of reference, a bell pepper has 0 SHUs, a standard Jalapeño rates at about 10,000 SHU and a Scotch Bonnet has about 100,000-350,000 SHUs.

Hottest: It’s a much-disputed benchmark but according to most, the hottest place on earth (barring of course the inside of volcanoes or at the earth’s core) is Death Valley in California. The Mediterranean city of El Azizia in northern Libya held the record for a long time but in 2012 experts from the World Meteorological Organisation reckoned that the measurement of 58˚C in 1922 was err… botched. Therefore, the title of the hottest ever place on Earth passes to Death Valley in California, where the temperature reached 56.7C in 1913.

Long (duration): The race here regularly nudges or hits the two-hour mark but that’s nothing compared to some other sports events. Take the longest ever tennis match, for example. The first-round Wimbledon clash between John Isner from America and Nicolas Mahut from France took more than 11 hours to play over the course of three days. Isner finally won it 70-68 in the final set!
Longest: That’s nothing compared with the legendary chess matches between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in 1984, with the championship bouts lasting five months! After 40 draws they eventually had to stop for health reasons. Kasparov won the rematch in 1985.

source: redbullracing.com, 2016 photo album

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2016 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix: Free Practice Report 

Sahara Force India completed a busy practice programme in Singapore with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg covering a total of 117 laps around the Marina Bay Circuit.

Nico Hulkenberg       VJM09-03
FP1:     1:48.359        (P13)        28 laps
FP2:     1:45.182        (P6)        35 laps

Nico: “It’s a good starting point for our weekend: we stuck to our plan, completed all our runs and got plenty of learning out of the laps we did. There’s still some work to do to be fully happy with the car, but we looked quite competitive. We are still trying to understand where we stand in terms of long run pace, but the first impression is that our one-lap pace looks good. Most teams usually take a big step forward between Friday and Saturday, so we are not getting carried away. We’ve done some good
preparation work ahead of the race, which means tomorrow morning we can move on and switch our focus to qualifying.”

Sergio Perez              VJM09-02
FP1:     1:48.214        (P12)        28 laps
FP2:     1:46.063        (P11)        26 laps

Sergio: “It was not the easiest day in the car. There are a few issues that we still need to solve and it means that I’m lacking confidence with the car – and that’s not ideal for a street circuit. We need to make some good decisions tonight to find a direction that works for me. I also had a brake problem during our long run towards the end of second practice, so my session was not very smooth. Even when you don’t have the best Friday, you can still recover and have a good weekend. I won’t change my
approach tomorrow – the focus remains getting the car in the best shape for qualifying.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal 
“It was a typical Singapore Friday with dirty and tricky track conditions, especially during the opening 40 minutes of the first practice session. Nico had a straightforward day – getting through the run plan without any significant concerns. He’s quite happy with the car, but there remain areas where we know we can find extra performance overnight. Sergio’s day was not quite so smooth and some set-up issues have left him chasing the ideal balance. Despite those issues, we showed some reasonable long run
pace and we have a good understanding of the three different tyre compounds.”

source: forceindiaf1.com, 2016 photo album

Renault Sport Formula One Team

2016 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, Friday

Renault Sport Formula One Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer ended the first day of running for the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix race weekend with their best lap times a mere 0.005seconds apart. Both drivers completed full uninterrupted programmes on a warm and humid Marina Bay Street Circuit with both sessions taking place in the evening. Kevin was the quicker of the two with his 1min 47.161secs lap.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes
–  A straightforward day with both drivers completing their programmes as scheduled.
–  Both Kevin and Jolyon used Pirelli’s super soft tyres in the first session.
–  In the second session both drivers used the super soft and ultra soft tyres.

Kevin Magnussen, #20, R.S.16-02
Free practice 1: P18, 1:50.263, 29 laps
Free practice 2: P16, 1:47.161, 30 laps

Kev: “There were no issues today so we were able to do everything required. We look a little further up the order than last time out and certainly we want to get a bit more quicker tomorrow. It’s certainly hot in the car but there were no surprises so we should be able to make good progress over the weekend.”

Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.16-05
Free practice 1: P17, 1:49.794, 27 laps
Free practice 2: P17, 1:47.166, 34 laps

Jo: “That was a pretty straightforward evening in the car and we’ve achieved everything we wanted today so that’s a positive. You could definitely feel the grip level improving over the sessions and we have a pretty solid base set-up. It’s certainly a pretty special lap around here”

Bob Bell, Chief Technical Officer: “We completed everything required today and have found a reasonable direction for the set-up. The second session was more about setting up the car for qualifying and the race, particularly to learn about the tyres, and we completed a good number of laps in this quest. The R.S.16 looks reasonably well balanced, albeit we have still a little work to do with the ride in relation to the many bumps on the circuit here.”

source: renaultsport.com, 2016 photo album

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz (STR11-01, Car 55)
  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:46.936, pos. 7th, 28 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:45.507, pos. 8th, 33 laps
“I think we can be happy with today. For the last three races we had been struggling a bit on Friday, finding it hard to classify further than P15 or P16… So it was good to be back in the top ten today in both practice sessions. Of course, we will push to do the same tomorrow, we’re strong here and it motivates the team to move forward – the car works well and we will go through plenty of data tonight in order to be ready for the rest of the weekend – I look forward to it, I enjoy racing at this track!”
Daniil Kvyat (STR11-03, Car 26)
  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:47.683, pos. 8th, 29 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:46.029, pos. 10th, 35 laps
“We tried many things today and I think it was a stimulating Friday. We will now try and learn as much as we can for tomorrow and try to maximize the potential which I feel we’ve got here – I think we can be strong and I’m happy to see that we are looking more competitive than in previous races. Obviously we need to keep working hard, but I’m ready for it!”
Phil Charles (Chief Race Engineer)
“Each year I tend to forget just how good the Singapore event is. The night race aspect is cool, the track is technically challenging, requires lots of concentration from the drivers and it is physically difficult, with the temperatures and bumps. It is a great mix. For us as engineers we need to maximise the driver’s time on track and give them a setup, which allows them to position the car well so that they can precisely navigate their way through the 23 corners, which arrive quickly one after the other. Today we set targets to do just that and we continued the re-evaluation of some of our recent aero upgrades. Some interesting data has been collected in this respect. In terms of our performance today, this track is definitely more sympathetic to our package than recent events, where straight line speed has been a high priority. This track also favours more peak downforce and we are relatively stronger in that respect. As a result, our performance here has been a bit better and I think the short run performance is ok. Daniil did not get a great last sector, Grosjean went off in front of him as well on his fastest lap, so he would have been even better. The long runs are perhaps where we need to do a bit more work tonight.”

source: scuderiatororosso.com, 2016 photo album

Sauber F1 Team



Weather: dry, 32-29°C air, 39-32°C track

During the practice sessions ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, the Sauber F1 Team continued its aero evaluation. As the Marina Bay Street Circuit is a low-speed track, a high downforce configuration has been tested here for the first time. Issues on Marcus Ericsson’s car forced the team to change the engine for FP2. As usual, the second free practice was mainly about race preparation with short and long-runs on supersoft and ultrasolft tyres.

Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
Sauber C35-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
1st practice: 20th / 1:51.479 min (16 laps) / 2nd practice: 20th / 1:48.487 min (32 laps)
“It has been a difficult day. In FP1 I struggled with the car due to power unit issues, so we decided to change the engine for FP2. In this session I had a good feeling on the supersoft tyres, but for some reason on the ultrasoft compound I struggled to get them to work. So far we do not understand why that was the case, so we need to look into it and analyse what happened.”

Sauber C35-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
1st practice: 15th / 1:49.595 min (16 laps) / 2nd practice: 18th / 1:47.531 min (29 laps)
“It was a productive day. In FP1 we continued our evaluation of the aero package, as we were running a high downforce configuration for the first time. It was good to collect data and to get a feeling for the balance of the car. For the rest of the weekend we still have some work to do in terms of the set-up of the car. With regard to the race, it will be important to have good tyre management.”

source:  sauberf1team.com, 2016 photo album

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team

2016 Singapore Grand Prix – free practice

“We’ve got quite a lot of work to do before we can be as competitive as we want to be”
Marina Bay Circuit, Friday September 16


The McLaren-Honda team made a somewhat cautious start to its Singapore Grand Prix weekend, making steady progress as it attempted to gather information on a suite of new parts while refining the balance of the MP4-31 around a notoriously tricky and unforgiving street circuit. Fernando Alonso also tried the halo cockpit protection system during his installation laps this afternoon.

Unfortunately, the day was book-ended by a pair of failures: Jenson Button stopped on track with a fuel system issue at the beginning of FP1, and had to be pushed back to the pit-lane; then, on his final lap in FP2, Fernando’s car developed a gearbox issue that forced him to park on the circuit.

The engineers will burn the midnight oil tonight to put the team in a better position for qualifying and Sunday’s race.

#14 Fernando Alonso


FP1 1m48.202s (+2.379s) 21 laps 11th

FP2 1m45.779s (+1.627s) 30 laps 9th

“Our expectations were quite high before coming here – although, to be fair, I’d said beforehand that there are circuits coming up that should suit us better than Singapore.

“We’ll have to fight to get into Q3 tomorrow because I think Force India and Toro Rosso both look pretty strong around here. Hopefully we can find a couple of tenths overnight so as to battle them for the final three or four top-10 positions in qualifying though.

“Our biggest problem is an overall deficit of grip – we need to find a bit more downforce for tomorrow, and then we need to make the tyres work better over a single lap. We’ll work hard to do our best to achieve those two important goals. It’s not so easy to overtake around here, so a good grid position will be important.”

#22 Jenson Button  



FP1 1m49.615s (+3.792s) 20 laps 16th

FP2 1m46.574s (+2.422s) 30 laps 12th

“When I stopped the car on track, I was fortunate enough to be pushed back to the pits because there wasn’t an opening on the circuit to park the car.

“Our pace hasn’t been quite as good today as we’d anticipated. As a result, we’ve got quite a lot of work to do before we can be as competitive as we want to be this weekend. We just couldn’t quite access the grip out there today, so we’re going to need a decent gain in pace to be competitive.

“Having said all that, hopefully we can improve things overnight – it’s going to be a busy evening.”
Eric Boullier McLaren-Honda Racing Director 


“Today wasn’t the easiest of practice days. Jenson and Fernando were each affected by on-track stoppages – but, fortunately, neither failure significantly affected their running. Equally, both drivers and engineers had to work hard to dial the cars in after discovering that their initial balance wasn’t fully delivering on track.

“Singapore’s Marina Bay track is fast and unforgiving, and finding a perfect balance isn’t always easy –especially when you have to contend with the changing track and ambient conditions that occur between FP1 and FP2.

“We struggled a little today, overall, but I think we made some solid progress between the sessions and we’ve got a good direction to pursue ahead of qualifying tomorrow.”

Yusuke Hasegawa 

Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

“With such big changes in running conditions from FP1 to FP2, it’s always difficult to prejudge how the car will fare throughout the day. Both sessions ran according to plan, with just a couple of small issues.

“The focus was predominantly on set-up changes, with the team confirming the use of the tyres, chassis and power unit balance. Honda’s particular focus was on catering the set-up to the stop-go nature of the Singapore street circuit.

“During FP2, we were able to test our long-run pace and stability using multiple compounds and were able to gain good data and setting direction for Saturday and Sunday.

“The final confirmation and tweaking will be done overnight.”

source: mclaren.com, 2016 photo album

Manor F1 Team


Pascal and Esteban get their teeth into the Marina Bay Circuit with their first taste of F1 night racing.

Free Practice 1 & 2, 2016 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix
Friday 16 September
Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore

Pascal MRT05-03     FP1   P19  1:51.112  23 laps    FP2   P21  1:48.505  33 laps
Esteban MRT05-02  FP1   P21  1:52.379  33 laps    FP2   P22  1:48.823  29 laps

Pascal Wehrlein:

First time out here at Marina Bay Circuit. How are you finding it?
“I find this track very cool; I really enjoy driving here. As expected, we are not yet quick enough compared to the other teams; this track requires a lot of downforce and good traction, which we’re struggling with.”

How are you feeling for the rest of the weekend?
“There are so many corners here – no long straights – so we knew it was going to be more difficult. So far we have gone through our programme for the weekend, so that’s all good.”

Esteban Ocon:

Esteban, how was your first day’s work at Marina Bay Circuit?
“I think it was a pretty good day overall. The important thing was to stay on track and get to know all the corners. On the quali lap I started to explore the limits of the car a little more and I touched the wall, but luckily there was no significant damage to the car. I lost a bit of lap time but that was not a problem for today. On the long runs, we are very happy with the car.”

How are things looking for tomorrow?
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and to racing at night time. The heat makes it harder of course, and it’s a tiring lap here because you never rest – you’re always turning. All of that makes it more challenging and I like that.”

A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:

“Obviously a difficult day and it’s very clear we’re not even close to where we want to be. However, we still have FP3 tomorrow to work on the car and hopefully we’ll be able to make up some of the time to our competitors. As everyone is perfectly aware, this race has a history of unpredictable results and it’s very important to be around at the end to take advantage of any opportunities, so that has to be our goal.”

source: manorf1team.com, 2016 photo album

11 - Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team

Singapore Grand Prix: Friday Practice Recap

Event: Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 (FP1 and FP2)

Date: Friday, Sept. 16

Location: Marina Bay Street Circuit

Layout: 5.065-kilometer (3.147-mile), 23-turn circuit

FP1 Weather: 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit)

FP2 Weather: 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit)

Drivers: Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez

Gutiérrez: 10th quick (1:48.109), 23 laps completed

Grosjean: 22nd quick (no time), 2 laps completed

Fastest Driver: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:45.823)

Most Laps: Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso and Kevin Magnussen of Renault (29 laps)

Gutiérrez: 13th quick (1:46.727), 36 laps completed

Grosjean: 19th quick (1:48.391), 12 laps completed

Fastest Driver: Nico Rosberg of Mercedes (1:44.152)

Most Laps: Esteban Gutiérrez of Haas F1 Team (36 laps)

Haas F1 Team’s preparation for the Singapore Grand Prix Sunday at Marina Bay Street Circuit got off to an inauspicious start on Friday when in the first of two 90-minute practice sessions, the car of Romain Grosjean developed problems on its installation lap. That left Esteban Gutiérrez to carry the mantle for Haas F1 Team in FP1, and he did so superbly, setting the 10th-quickest time with a lap of 1:48.109.

Grosjean’s desire for a strong start to the race weekend was squashed almost immediately. Technical issues on his installation lap led to a 25-minute stint in the garage, and when trouble continued on a second installation lap, the team decided to end Grosjean’s run to perform a more in-depth analysis of the car. An engine inlet air leak was deemed to be the culprit, resulting in a time-consuming, but necessary, engine change, with Grosjean’s race engine getting installed into his Haas VF-16.

Gutiérrez, meanwhile, was able to record 23 laps around the 5.065-kilometer (3.147-mile), 23-turn circuit as dusk began to settle over Asia’s first-ever temporary street course. With powerful floodlights illuminating the course as teams prepped for the second of three night races on Formula One’s 21-race calendar, Gutiérrez ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Purple ultrasoft tire, available for the first time since the Austrian Grand Prix in July. Gutiérrez’s quick time came on his 15th lap while riding on a scuffed set of Purple ultrasofts, and it put him a solid 10th on the speed chart.

Quickest in FP1 was the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. The teammates traded the top spot before Verstappen finally nipped ahead with a fast lap of 1:45.823, which was .049 of a second faster than Ricciardo’s best time.

With FP1 beginning during the waning sunlight hours, the temperature was 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) with 58 percent humidity. When FP2 began two hours later, the temperature had dropped to 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), but the humidity rose to 74 percent.

Unfortunately, the change in weather conditions did not provide a change in fortune for Grosjean. While he was able to begin making quick laps, a spin at turn 23 roughly 45 minutes into the session sent Grosjean backward into the wall. The rear wing of his Haas VF-16 was heavily damaged, and upon returning to the garage, a thorough inspection of the car commenced. There, it was determined the floor and rear suspension also needed to be replaced, sidelining Grosjean for the remainder of practice. Grosjean totalled only 12 laps, with his best time being a 1:48.391 earned on his 10th lap to put him 19th overall.

Gutiérrez continued his workman-like performance from FP1 to log 36 laps in FP2, the most of any driver. His best time was a 1:46.727, earned on his ninth lap with a new set of Purple ultrasofts that put him 13th overall. Gutiérrez did some experimenting with the tire compounds available for Singapore, as he began FP2 on a new set of Pirelli P Zero Red supersofts before switching to the ultrasofts. Gutiérrez returned to the supersofts for a 10-lap run and then donned a used set of ultrasofts for his final 13 laps.

The pacesetter in FP2 was Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg. His quick time of 1:44.152 was .275 of a second better than his closest FP2 rival, Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen. The Red Bulls of Verstappen and Ricciardo followed in third and fourth, respectively, with Räikkönen’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel, rounding out the top-five.

Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 73 laps – 59 by Gutiérrez and 14 by Grosjean.

“It was the worst Friday you could imagine for us. I didn’t get a lap in this morning, and then we had some issues this afternoon that we need to solve. There was just no performance. It’s a very bad way to start one of the most difficult grand prix of the year. Tomorrow is another day.”

“It was quite an interesting day. We brought some updates and it was very interesting to get a feeling from them. We were exploring the package, and at the beginning it’s hard to judge – you really need to run it and try to adapt as best as possible. We ended up experimenting a little with the setup, even into FP2. I think we have plenty of data to analyze. It’s unfortunate that Romain’s car wasn’t able to run. Obviously, having two sets of data to analyze is more important. We have plenty to look at though, and we’ll focus on that tonight and make the best of tomorrow.”

“Two quite difficult sessions for us. Esteban had to do all the work because Romain had a problem with the air intake system in FP1. We lost all his session with that. Then in the afternoon, Romain only did 12 laps, but had a spin and went backward into the wall. He damaged his rear wing, his floor and the rear suspension. We had to stop the car to change the rear suspension because it was too dangerous to go out again. When you have new parts on the car, you normally want to do as much running as possible to learn and to find the balance. We’re a little behind in our program today, but hopefully we can make up for it tomorrow in FP3. Hopefully, we can get some good results there. We will be thinking hard overnight and see what we can come up with.”

Drivers have one more practice session on Saturday (18:00-19:00) before qualifying starts at 21:00. Qualifying consists of three rounds, with the 16 fastest drivers from Q1 moving on to Q2. Then, the 10 fastest drivers from Q2 advance to Q3 where they’ll battle for the pole.

source: haasf1team.com, 2016 photo album


2016 Singapore Grand Prix – Practice Sessions


The fastest time in free practice today was set by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg with a benchmark of 1m44.152s in FP2 on the ultrasoft tyre.

In the more representative and slightly cooler conditions of FP2, which started off with 33 degrees of track temperature, drivers were able to concentrate on qualifying simulations and race rehearsals, seeing how their cars reacted with different fuel loads and tyres on the constantly evolving surface.

The performance gap between the ultrasoft and supersoft is currently around 0.9s, whereas the gap between supersoft and soft is around 1.3s – meaning that for now, more than two seconds cover the three choices available.

With traction being a characteristic of the Marina Bay circuit, drivers had to take particular care to avoid overheating the softest compounds in particular. With the ultrasoft never having run in Singapore before, and likely to play a prominent role in qualifying, gaining sufficient information about it was a priority throughout free practice.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “We saw a lot of teams experimenting different technical solutions in FP1, whereas the work was more specifically focussed on qualifying and the race in FP2. On this type of track strategy can make a very big difference, so this is sure to be a big focus of tonight’s data analysis as teams consider the best tactics for what’s set to be a multi-stop race. The way that the track evolves in Singapore is considerably different from a daytime race, and the teams had a good opportunity tonight to assess the pattern of wear and degradation as the night went on: vital information for the rest of the weekend.”

source: pirelli.com, 2016 photo album

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Renault Sport

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source: renaultsport.com