First Free Practice Results 2023 Singapore F1 Grand Prix
Weather: dry 32°C
Tarmac: dry 42°C
Humidity : 66%
Wind : 2.0 km/h S
Pressure: 1008 mbar
Leclerc Tops FP1 in Singapore
*Singapore, September 15, 2023* - The first practice session for the 2023 Singapore F1 Grand Prix got underway today, and it's already proving to be an intriguing start to the race weekend. With the sun still shining brightly over the Marina Bay Street Circuit, conditions may not be fully representative, but the teams wasted no time hitting the track to gather crucial data on their upgrades.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit has undergone some changes since the last season. Notably, a section in the final sector has been removed, resulting in fewer corners and one more straight, potentially altering the dynamics of the race.
Two teams caught the eye with new liveries for this race. McLaren, as previously mentioned, unveiled a striking new look, and they were joined by Williams. While Williams didn't immediately take to the track, fans got a glimpse of their new livery.
Pirelli has provided the softest tire compounds for this race, the same as those used at Monza. However, the challenging nature of the Marina Bay Street Circuit means that tire degradation is expected to be high. As a result, most teams opted for the medium or hard compounds in the early stages of FP1.
What to Watch For
Several storylines are emerging from FP1. First, the performance of rookies Lawson, Sargeant, and Piastri on this demanding circuit is being closely monitored. Second, the effectiveness of upgrades is a key focus for McLaren, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo, Alpine, and Red Bull. Third, there's keen interest in how the midfield battle unfolds behind Red Bull. Finally, the revised track layout has everyone intrigued.
As the initial installation laps concluded, Lando Norris of McLaren set the pace on medium tires, clocking a 1m 37.895s. He was closely followed by Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas. With track temperatures soaring to 44 degrees and high humidity at 63%, both drivers and mechanics faced a challenging session.
Max Verstappen encountered some gearbox issues, a common occurrence on Fridays, while Sergio Perez had visibility concerns and requested adjustments to his seat.
Given the track layout changes, direct comparisons with last year's times are challenging. However, it's evident that lap times are already significantly faster on the harder compounds compared to last year.
Halfway the session the top 10 order was: 1. Lando Norris - 1:34.776 (M), 2. Piere Gasly +0.024 (S), 3. George Russell +0.299 (H), 4. Charles Leclerc +0.357 (H), 5. Esteban Ocon +0.515 (M), 6. Sergio Pérez +0.560 (H), 7. Lewis Hamilton +0.795 (H), 8. Carlos Sainz +0.817 (H), 9. Max Verstappen +1.005 (H) & 10. Yuki Tsunoda +1.006 (H).
Daniel Ricciardo, who has been sidelined due to injury, was spotted wearing a support strap on his hand but no bandages. There is still uncertainty about when he will return to racing, with indications that Japan might be unlikely.
The session saw its share of incidents. Lance Stroll faced delays due to sensor-related issues, while Perez ran wide but avoided any damage. The track remained dusty, typical for street circuits, but support races are expected to rubber it in as the weekend progresses.
Lizard on the Track
An unusual interruption occurred when a lizard ventured onto the track, prompting a yellow flag. Drivers found the situation amusing, and luckily, the lizard left the track unharmed, allowing normal running to resume.
Soft Tire Runs
Towards the latter part of FP1, many drivers switched to the soft tires, setting the stage for faster lap times. Pierre Gasly made an impressive move to second place on the soft tires, but Lando Norris, still on mediums, remained the benchmark.
Conclusion of FP1
With installation laps completed and initial data gathered, the focus now shifts to setup work for the weekend, likely to be a significant part of FP2 when conditions are more representative.
Esteban Ocon put in a strong performance for Alpine, currently in third place on medium tires. Alpine, facing challenges this season, is eager to close the gap to McLaren in the constructors' standings.
Max Verstappen, who currently sits in second place, is expected to be a strong contender this weekend. However, Perez's expertise on street circuits and McLaren's promising performance with Norris at the helm make the race unpredictable.
Charles Leclerc topped FP1, giving Ferrari an early advantage. However, it's still early days, and much can change as teams fine-tune their setups and drivers push the limits of their cars. With an unexpected appearance by lizards on the track, the session provided plenty of talking points, ensuring that the 2023 Singapore F1 Grand Prix promises to be an exciting and unpredictable race weekend.
Quickest sector times during this FP1 at Singapore were:
- 27.070 sec. by Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari SF23
- 39.457 sec. by Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari SF23
- 26.414 sec. by Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari SF23
1:43.033 min was the quickest lap time in FP1 of the last time in 2022 driven by Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes W13.
FP1 Times Table 2023 Singapore GP
|3||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:33,476||+0,126s||22||🔴S|
|7||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:33,725||+0,375s||22||🟡M|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||1:33,974||+0,624s||28||🔴S|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:34,568||+1,218s||25||🔴S|
|14||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:34,802||+1,452s||25||🔴S|
|18||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:35,456||+2,106s||25||🟡M|
✅ Don't forget to check out our 2023 Singapore F1 Grand Prix preview info.
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