Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr set the fastest time in second practice for the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix, two-tenths quicker than teammate Charles Leclerc, who missed almost half an hour of the session.
Spaniard Sainz produced a 1:42.587 on the C5 Pirelli tyre, the softest in the range.
‘It’s been a busy first day here in Singapore. We managed to complete the full run plan but we also faced some challenges, particularly with the setup and car balance. We didn’t find the right window for FP1, but we managed to improve the feeling with the car for FP2. We still need to do some work and find some lap time, especially for the long runs. It seems we are up for a tight battle at the top so we need to try to maximise every aspect of the weekend,’ said Sainz.
Championship leader Max Verstappen could only manage P4 in a disrupted session, which saw the Dutchman spend a lot of time in the garage as the Red Bull team made several changes to the world champions suspension.
George Russell finished third fastest as Lewis Hamilton, who topped FP1, ended the session fifth fastest, almost six-tenths off the pace but both Mercedes drivers set their best times at the second attempt, having encountered traffic on their first try at a Qualifying simulation.
At the point of abandoning their laps, both Mercedes drivers had set the fastest first sector time to their respective points of the session.
Mercedes Team Principal said after the session that the eight-time Constructors champions were “not miles off”, declaring “we can be in the fight” for pole position on Saturday.
With the pace being several seconds off that from 2019, the last time F1 visited Marina Bay, many paddock insiders and pundits feel that Sunday’s Grand Prix could be a timed race.
The Singapore Grand Prix, due to its low average speed, regularly runs close to, and sometimes past, the two-hour time limit for Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Even though 61 laps are scheduled for Sunday, the race may end before the drivers reach that lap-count.