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SINGAPORE GP: FREE PRACTICE

An update from Free Practice at the Singapore Grand Prix as the Bulls get up and running at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

We’re into the 11th season of the iconic Singapore race now and the sheer scale of the challenge of building this circuit every year is truly mind-boggling. It’s a huge, huge task in Monaco and Baku – but dropping a racing circuit into the middle of one of the world’s busiest urban areas is simply mind-boggling.

As if this were not special enough, the race promoters decided they’d do it under lights too. Adding to this spectacle we then have the weather. 140km from the equator, the climate in Singapore is, unsurprisingly, equatorial. It isn’t quite the hottest place F1 goes, but it is the most humid.

In Free Practice One the drivers took to a hot and challenging track, as the session took place in the afternoon sun. It was a good session for the Bulls, as Daniel took P1 with 1:39.711 from his 27 laps. Max finished the session in P2, 0.201s behind his teammate, posting a 1:39.912 from his 27 laps.

Night fell and the lights came on as Free Practice Two started around the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Both Bulls improved on their FP1 times slightly, as Max finished the session in P3 with a 1:39.221. The Dutchman completed 28 laps. Daniel was P4 with a 1:39.309, after putting in 33 laps.

The final practice session on Saturday saw Daniel finish in P5 with a 1:39.186, from his 14 laps. Max was P6, posting a 1:39.265 after 10 laps

Summarising Friday's practice sessions, Max said:

“It wasn’t the perfect day for me, we still have plenty of room to improve ahead of Qualifying tomorrow. This mornings practice felt good but I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the second session. This afternoon we could have been a bit quicker over the short runs as we suffered a bit from understeer. I don’t think we have the pace to fight for pole so we will just try to optimise the package. Once we have, short runs and race pace should improve. It definitely wasn’t a bad day, some hard work tonight should put us in a good position with ability to attack. The Hypersoft struggled over the long runs, it dropped off quickly. The other compounds were not so bad which could make the race interesting.”

Daniel added:

“It’s going to be close at the top and all three teams can be fast around here. The morning session was better for us and surprisingly we were a bit more comfortable with the hotter track. Once it cooled down this evening, we didn’t feel we were able to optimise everything. I’m not concerned, we have tonight to analyse everything and I believe we will bring it all together tomorrow. I like that they brought a Soft tyre which is a few steps harder than the Ultra and the Hyper which opens up more options for the race. Each tyre seems to be a good step faster than the other, so for Qualifying I think it will push everyone to use the Hypersoft. It was fun out there. It’s the toughest circuit both mentally and physically but I love it and it’s a good challenge. I’m sweating a lot but it’s worth it. I’ve prepared well and the team has brought a very good car here, so let’s hope the gap is close tomorrow.”