Singapore Grand Prix: Ricciardo finishes on top in the first two practice sessions at Marina Bay
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 15, 2017 Updated: 11:55 PM
MARINA BAY, Singapore —Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo took the top spot in the first and second practice sessions for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.
Ricciardo ran a time of 1:42.489 and was 0.109s ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the morning session. Later, he doubled down in the afternoon by topping the second practice session ahead of his teammate Max Verstappen.
“It was a good day out there today, but I expected this, to be honest, and am not really surprised with our performance. I knew we would come here with a good car. We made some progress from the morning and even though we were the quickest in FP1, I still wanted to get more out of the car and the set up in the afternoon. We took another step forward throughout the day, which was good and we now hope there is still more room to improve for tomorrow," said Ricciardo.
Red Bull enter the weekend as a possible contender to win after leaving the more power hungry tracks like Monza and Spa.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished third and was 0.147s off Verstappen followed by his teammate Valtteri Bottas in fourth.
Moving further into the afternoon session, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished in fifth as the French car manufacturer announced their new partnership with McLaren as well as the addition of Carlos Sainz, who will drive for the team in next season.
“We had a standard yet positive Friday here in Singapore, the performance in FP2 was quite good. I was feeling happy with the car all day and that’s what is most important to me right now. I definitely had some good balance and harmony, there is always room for improvement but definitely a good start to the weekend," said Hulkenberg.
Stoffel Vandoorne finished sixth as his team announced the end of their partnership with engine supplier Honda. As for Vandoorne's teammate Fernando Alonso, he finished seventh.
Force India's Sergio Perez ended the second session in eighth followed by Kimi Raikkonen in ninth. Perez's teammate Esteban Ocon took the tenth and final spot in the afternoon session.
Sebastian Vettel finished outside the top ten in 11th as the Scuderia appeared to be off to a rough start after the first two practice sessions.
"Today we tried a couple of things and I am not sure they were the right things to do. Now we’ll see what we can do for tomorrow," said Vettel.
Among the big announcements made after lunch, Carlos, who finished 12th for Toro Rosso, will be switching teams next season as he will be a driver for Renault in 2018. Teammate Daniil Kvyat finished 13th ahead of Hulkenberg's teammate Jolyon Palmer in 14th.
Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll finished 15th and 16th. Stroll struggled with balance in the car and found himself kissing the barriers during the session.
Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean took 17th and 18th followed by Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson in 19th and 20th.