Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Scuderia Ferrari Lead the Way in Second Singapore Practice as Red Bull Struggle

Scuderia Ferrari continued to lead the way at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Friday, with Carlos Sainz Jr. edging out team-mate Charles Leclerc in free practice two by just 0.018 seconds.Sainz, who took pole position two weeks ago for the Italian Grand Prix, set a best time of 1:32.120 to set the outright pace on Friday evening under the floodlights in Singapore, and although Leclerc set better times in the first two sectors, it was the Spaniard’s final sector pace that appeared to make the difference.But perhaps the bigger talking point on Friday was the seemingly lack of pace and performance coming from Oracle Red Bull Racing, with their two drivers, Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen, only seventh and eighth respectively as they look to make it fifteen wins out of fifteen this season.Both drivers were complaining about their RB19 during the session, and neither were able to make much of an impact at the front of the field, something that has not been seen all season long to date.George Russell ended up third fastest for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, although he was more than two-tenths of a second back on Sainz’s best time, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton ended up fifth, the team-mates being separated by Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team’s Fernando Alonso.McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris, running with an updated car and livery this weekend in Singapore, placed sixth ahead of the two Red Bulls, while there will be encouragement in both the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake camps as Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas were able to put the respective teams into the top ten.Nico Hülkenberg made it a good session for Haas in eleventh, while, perhaps even more encouraging, was the pace of Liam Lawson, the Scuderia AlphaTauri stand-in doing a good job to place twelfth, four places ahead of his more experienced team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.Esteban Ocon was a lowly thirteenth in the leading of the BWT Alpine F1 Team cars just ahead of the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, while Oscar Piastri, not running with the updates that team-mate Norris has this weekend, was down in fifteenth, just ahead of Tsunoda.Zhou Guanyu, who’s future at Alfa Romeo was confirmed earlier this week, was only seventeenth on Friday evening ahead of Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, with Logan Sargeant and Alexander Albon bringing up the rear for Williams Racing.Albon, who has scored points in both the previous two races in the Netherlands and Italy, was restricted to just five laps on Friday evening as mechanical issues saw him set his best time on the hard compound, meaning he will go into the weekend on the back foot.