Singapore Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two in opening practice

Singapore Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two in opening practice


Max Verstappen chats with team boss Christian Horner at Singapore GP
Max Verstappen is targeting an 11th straight win this weekend

Charles Leclerc led Carlos Sainz in a Ferrari one-two ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in first practice at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Leclerc was 0.078 seconds quicker than Sainz and 0.126secs up on Verstappen, with McLaren’s Lando Norris fourth.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were fifth and sixth ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull.

The session was three times briefly interrupted by monitor lizards walking on the track near Turn Nine.

The Marina Bay Circuit has been revised for this season with the removal of four corners because of infrastructure works.

This has reduced lap times by as much as 10 seconds and has led to the race being extended by a lap.

Apart from the brief caution periods for the local wildlife, the session was uneventful, with no drivers making major mistakes or hitting the always-threatening walls.

Verstappen complained about his car suffering from oversteer early in the session, but he still had time to bring memories of the last time a monitor lizard was seen on track at Singapore.

Back in 2016, Verstappen referred to an especially large one as “Godzilla”. When he spotted the first one this year, he said that it was smaller than that one.

His race engineer Giampiero Lambiase responded: “Maybe Godzilla had a baby.”

Behind Perez, Fernando Alonso was down in eighth place in the Aston Martin, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda’s Alpha Tauri and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine.

A number of teams have upgrades for this weekend, none bigger than that on Norris’ McLaren, which has a new floor as well as major bodywork revisions. Only the Briton has the new parts. Team-mate Oscar Piastri is due to receive them in Japan next weekend.

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