Red Bull started the Singapore Grand Prix weekend strongly by heading the first practice session with both cars.
Daniel Ricciardo set a quickest lap of 1’39.711 on hyper-soft tyres. He lapped just two-tenths of a second slower than last year’s pole position time, on a track shortened by two metres following a change at turn 16.
Team mate Max Verstappen was second-quickest after his first run on hyper-softs was impaired by Carlos Sainz Jnr in the final sector.
They relegated the Ferrari pair to third and fourth quickest. Sebastian Vettel was the quicker of the pair, getting within three-tenths of a second of Ricciardo on the same tyres.
The Mercedes pair, who have brought fewer sets of hyper-softs than any of their rivals this weekend, did not use the softest rubber available in first practice. It’s is usually run in hotter conditions than qualifying and the race. Lewis Hamilton ended up one-and-a-half seconds off Ricciardo on the harder soft rubber.
Nico Hulkenberg demonstrated the performance gain from the hyper-softs by knocking Hamilton back to sixth place. Carlos Sainz Jnr highlighted Renault’s potential with the seventh-fastest time ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
Future Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was ninth-quickest but ended his session early after making heavy contact with the inside barrier as he crossed the Andersen bridge, wiping out his front-right suspension. Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.
Stoffel Vandoorne endured another miserable session, covering just 11 laps. He spent much of it in the garage while the team worked on his car. And he had to return to the pits after rejoining the track late in the session.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 14, 2018