Singapore Grand Prix – Practice

There’s been lots of news since the last Grand Prix, most of it revolving around the accusations of “race fixing” by Renault at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix. (Read more in my post here.)

I’m sure there were some comments in the earlier practice session this morning when Renault driver Romain Grosjean crashed into the wall at Turn 17 and caused the session to be red flagged! (OK, last year it was Piquet bringing out the Safety Car during the race, but it’s a Renault in the same corner.)

RB was fastest in Practice 1 @ 1:50.179, followed by teammate JB then MW, FA, SV, HK, LH.

My notes on Practice 2 are after the cut.

Air temperature 30°C; track 30°C; wind 1.5m/s; humidity 65%
Remember it’s the middle of the night in Singapore (well, 9:30pm) but the immense lighting make it look like the middle of the day

NR is first on track
NH 1:57.379
JA 1:54.801
JT 1:53.338
SV 1:52.972
NH 1:51.760
AS loses the tail and spins the Force India
SV 1:50.958
LH 1:50.867
MW 1:50.788
NH 1:50.539
15mins into Practice 2: RK & RG have yet to leave the pits
FA 1:50.458
AS 1:50.382
RB 1:50.346
MW 1:49.317 – that the first lap time that’s faster than RB’s time in Practice 1
30mins gone = 60mins left in Practice 2; still no sign of RG, presumably because the Renault mechanics are still rebuilding his car
Red flag: MW has wiped out the Red Bull into the wall at the start of the main straight
MW is fine – he’s walking back to the pits
The clock doesn’t stop so the session is slipping away while the marshals recover the car and clear up the debris
Session will restart at 2213 local time = 1013am EST
Pit lane lights turn green and cars are back on circuit
(NR P2)
RG finally posts a lap time but he’s way down in P20, over 3secs slower than P19!
NH 1:49.098
FA slides the Renault close to the wall again
(JB P2)
(SV P2)
30mins left of Practice 2; fastest is NH followed by SV, JB, MW, NR, HK, TG, AS
TG gets close enough to the wall to swap paint but escapes any damage
15mins left; time for some final fast laps
RG is still in P20 but now he’s only ~1sec behind the Ferrari of GF (not doing much better than Badoer!)
HK 1:48.952
Williams mechanics working furiously on NR’s car
SV 1:48.650
5mins left
Yellow flag for … LH?
2mins left; everyone except MW on track
JB’s lap ruined by a slower Toyota
Chequered flag falls to end Practice 2
(FA jumps from P14 to P2)
Fastest was SV (1:48.650) followed by FA, HK, NH, JB, MW, NR & TG.
RG managed a better lap time than JA; GF pulled himself up to P16.

Saturday (Final) Practice:
[RB had a gearbox change earlier and will therefore get a 5 grid spot penalty]
Everyone left the pits, did an installation lap and they’re all back in the pits
GF 1:58.445
GF 1:53.414
15mins gone = 45mins left
RG 1:52.436
KR 1:51.794
KR 1:50.347
NR 1:50.134
RK 1:49.679
NR 1:49.447
RK 1:49.434
LH 1:48.346 – that’s faster than the best time in Practice 2
MW the only one yet to set a lap time … but he does a couple of minutes later
30mins gone = halfway through Final Practice; fastest are LH, SV, RB, HK, NH, FA, RK, NR
GF just put in a lap that’s 0.03sec faster than his Ferrari teammate – that’s a first!
(HK P2)
LH 1:48.197
15mins left; top of the timing chart are LH, NR, HK, TG, RB, FA, AS, RK
GF still ahead of KR
10mins left; final few laps before Qualifying
KR jumps to 10 places ahead of GF
SV 1:47.938
SV 1:47.909
LH 1:47.632
Chequered flag falls to end the final practice session
Fastest was LH (1:47.632) followed by SV, NR, HK, RK, NH, RB, TG.

Qualifying starts at 10am EST tomorrow.

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