Practice report

F1 Singapore GP: Sainz shades Russell in FP3 to retain Ferrari supremacy

Carlos Sainz completed a Ferrari clean sweep of Formula 1 practice sessions at the Singapore Grand Prix having set the fastest time, beating Mercedes' George Russell by 0.069s.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Amid a series of qualifying simulations over the second half of the session as the sun began to fall, Ferrari elected to wait for the track temperature to drop a little more before sending both drivers out for their first attempts at an all-or-nothing flying lap.

Sainz's 1m32.065s on his first push-lap on the soft tyres awarded him with top spot, and the Spaniard's time managed to withstand a late siege amid a flurry of qualifying simulations.

Sainz had earlier led the line before being displaced by Russell, as the Mercedes duo sat atop the order after the opening half-hour of running. Russell had been leading Hamilton as the two had eschewed the medium compound used by their front-running rivals for an early series of soft-tyre laps.

Russell's 1m32.364s on the soft had vaulted him back to the top, but was beaten by Lando Norris' 1m32.303s. The McLaren driver's time could not hold firm from Sainz's lap, as the two Ferraris took to the stage.

Although the Ferrari pair ran the risk of encountering a sector three yellow flag when Alex Albon went off at Turn 17, the green flag was waved at the chicane just in time for them to pass through unrestricted.

On a second tilt, Russell leapfrogged Norris to reclaim second while Sainz attempted to better his time on a second run - but the Monza polesitter instead found himself performing a 50-50 grind on the Turn 7 exit kerb and had to abort his run. Team-mate Charles Leclerc also had to back out of a lap after setting the fastest first sector, which denied Ferrari the chance of securing another practice 1-2.

 George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Norris ended the session third behind Russell, as Max Verstappen managed to get up to fourth with his final soft-tyre lap while experimenting with his upshifts throughout the session.

His first flying run ultimately fell 0.7 seconds short of Sainz's eventual best effort, and although hot-fix to the upshifts yielded a drop in lap time, Verstappen nonetheless continued to struggle for traction.

Leclerc backed out of his opening flying lap, and his next try could not offer anything further than fifth overall. After having to abort his third attempt, he ended the session two tenths clear of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri was seventh fastest to beat Sergio Perez - who also struggled with an "on the edge" rear end and difficulty getting the front end of his Red Bull to bite. This put him just over a tenth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg's ninth-best time, as Yuki Tsunoda completed the top 10.

Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon fell outside of the first half of the field, ahead of the Aston Martin pair of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll as the Silverstone outfit seemingly did not pursue any top-line pace.

Liam Lawson managed to rescue a spin at Turn 2 after dipping a wheel offline, and narrowly kept his AlphaTauri out of the barrier before continuing on with his session. Daniel Ricciardo's injury stand-in placed 16th, between Pierre Gasly and Albon.

Valtteri Bottas was 18th fastest but will be investigated by the stewards for not following directions regarding the pit entry, where he was seen to drift over the separating kerb onto the circuit before returning to the pit entry line. Zhou Guanyu and Logan Sargeant propped up the order.

F1 Singapore GP FP3 Results:

Driver Info
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 23 1'32.065   197.977
2 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 20 +0.069 0.069 197.829
3 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 17 +0.238 0.169 197.467
4 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 21 +0.313 0.075 197.306
5 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 25 +0.316 0.003 197.300
6 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 18 +0.470 0.154 196.971
7 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 18 +0.665 0.195 196.557
8 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 20 +0.719 0.054 196.443
9 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 18 +0.831 0.112 196.206
10 Japan Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull 18 +0.880 0.049 196.103
11 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 16 +0.905 0.025 196.050
12 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 19 +0.914 0.009 196.031
13 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 19 +0.986 0.072 195.879
14 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 23 +1.061 0.075 195.721
15 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 19 +1.286 0.225 195.250
16 New Zealand L. Lawson AlphaTauri 40 AlphaTauri Red Bull 19 +1.292 0.006 195.237
17 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 15 +1.305 0.013 195.210
18 Finland V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 26 +1.475 0.170 194.855
19 China Z. Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 24 +1.572 0.097 194.653
20 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 16 +1.643 0.071 194.506
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