By: Myanna Wedes.
The drivers had to be ready for a hot and steamy third practice session. Spectators across the circuit and in the paddock were dripping with sweat as they stood at a stand still watching drivers arrive in to the circuit and their garages. Again, it was a battle at the front with Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Alex Albon, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. The red bullet of Leclerc was out quickly to warm up his tyres, get a feel for the conditions and push. Setting the pace right from the word go is important for the drivers in preparation for qualifying where track positioning will be key. Leclerc was laying down the rubber and almost kissing the barrier though managing to keep control.
The last thing you want at the Singapore circuit is to lose the car and end up in the wall. One of the key highlights of the session was Daniil Kvyat whose engine appeared to want to erupt into smoke after a few corners. Luckily, he was able to ease the car back in to the pits instead of stopping on the side of the track. The mechanics in the garage were in crisis mode trying to sort the problem out as quickly as possible. As we know in Formula 1, anything can happen in terms of mechanical issues and sometimes drivers are just unlucky. The same can be said for Sergio Perez who hit the wall at the exit of turn 21. He left some parts of his Racing Point Formula 1 car on track which resulted in a virtual safety car. Perez will not be happy with that mistake and is usually quite hard on himself as a driver. The look on his face was not one of positivity and rather total frustration. As a result of his mistake, the session was suspended. Checo left a nice reminder on the blue walls of Singapore as to where he made the error.
Speaking of luck. It certainly has not been an ideal number of sessions for Daniel Ricciardo who has not had the pace to compete with the top five runners. He even shaved his beard yesterday in order to go faster, however, that just does not seem to be helping (Ricciardo laughing as he made mention of it to the media). In the third session, Ricciardo managed to finish in the top ten though once again behind Nico Hulkenberg. Whether the honey badger has the Renault package to bring him towards to the front in this gruelling race will remain to be seen.
As the timesheet stands, Leclerc put behind the issues of yesterday to go fastest with a 1:38.192 and Hamilton a 1:38.399. Surprisingly, Verstappen finished sixth fastest. The same combination of drivers were in the top ten and it was another solid performance by Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris. The McLaren drivers have been super consistent and if they qualify with strength, they will have fun mixing it up with those who are fighting for the World Championship. We have been very impressed with Norris who is at Singapore for the first time in a McLaren Formula 1 race car. His adaptation to the circuit is a reward for the efforts of learning the circuit both on his bicycle, on foot and with complete focus. It will be interesting to watch Norris’s race pace and where he ends up. The young British talent is one to watch as his career progresses.
Next up will be qualifying. Will Hamilton obtain a new magical lap?
Tune in to find out.
|5||23||Alexander Albon||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:39.258||+1.066s||14|
|6||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:39.366||+1.174s||9|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:39.507||+1.315s||14|
|8||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:39.709||+1.517s||13|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:40.209||+2.017s||11|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:40.339||+2.147s||15|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:40.953||+2.761s||16|
|14||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:40.985||+2.793s||4|
|15||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:41.156||+2.964s||13|
|16||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:41.169||+2.977s||14|
|17||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:41.494||+3.302s||12|
|18||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||1:41.542||+3.350s||12|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:41.954||+3.762s||13|
|20||26||Daniil Kvyat||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||3|