Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Singapore GP, Practice One: Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull set the pace

Singapore GP, Practice One: Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull set the pace

Hamilton leads Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by three points at the top of the championship, but with the tight and twisting nature of the street course in Singapore expected to suit the Italian marque well, another swing in momentum could occur.

Singapore is like Monaco and Hungary in that it is a hard-braking track which is tough to overtake on, and more suited to Ferrari and Red Bull than Mercedes. We still need to understand a few things we've introduced on the auto for this race a bit better because at the moment we're not 100% sure, but we will work hard overnight to solve this.

Sebastian Vettel only trails Lewis Hamilton by three points heading into Singapore.

"But I still think Ferrari are going to be quick there".

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"I believe Singapore won't be our only chance but is one of our best chances of a win in the second half of the season", said Ricciardo. The layout of the circuit, the team hope, will mask the power deficiencies of their Renault engine.

That came off the back of Mateschitz stating he'd like to see 19-year-old Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen become the youngest world champion in F1 history.

Having already lowered the benchmark to go fastest of all in FP1, Ricciardo traded new records with his team-mate and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton early in the night session to leave the new target at 1m 40.852s ahead of Saturday's qualifying hour.

The Red Bull twins were then dispatched toward the rear end of the grid with penalties for using new Renault engines too soon which nullified all their wonderful efforts.

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The Silver Arrows were beaten by Ferrari in Singapore in 2015, when they had their least competitive weekend of an otherwise dominant year. "As I said many times whatever I do next year is because I want to win".

Many tipped Ferrari as favourites coming into the weekend but it was Red Bull who topped both Friday sessions.

"Ferrari are often better in hot places but I think we will be able to give them a good race". We will start practice tomorrow and only then will we see the situation. "I'm enjoying things so far and it's great fun driving these cars around this circuit".

Vettel, who finished third in Italy, says he is eager to make amends in Singapore, but claims he feels no added pressure to secure a victory here.

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"Since 2014 I felt if I was in a Mercedes I believed I could have won and previous year as well". I go with what we have, what I'll feel on the track and how the vehicle performs. "So we are happy that he will continue with us for another season also". The youngster and his father Jos - a former F1 driver - both said after the Belgian GP they're not sure what lies in store if Red Bull and Renault can't organise a package capable of delivering sustained success.

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