Charles Leclerc thrust Ferrari into the fight for Singapore pole position after topping final practice at Marina Bay on Saturday evening, edging clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

After struggling on Friday due to a lack of confidence in his car, Leclerc bounced back in style in FP3 as he turned in the fastest lap of the session, giving Ferrari a boost heading into qualifying.

Leclerc set a fastest lap time of 1m38.192s to finish two-tenths of a second clear of Hamilton, having led the field by almost one second at one point in the session.

Hamilton was able to cut the gap late in the session despite hitting traffic on his first qualifying simulation lap, eventually finishing 0.207s down on the Ferrari ahead. Hamilton also suffered a slow-speed spin at Turn 3 on his outlap before his final run in the session.

Four-time Singapore winner Sebastian Vettel finished third in the sister Ferrari, but was over six-tenths of a second down on teammate Leclerc, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas following close behind in fourth place.

Alexander Albon impressed for Red Bull by finishing fifth ahead of teammate Max Verstappen, albeit over a second off Leclerc at the front. Verstappen had his final qualifying run compromised by traffic, leaving him with time in hand ahead of qualifying.

McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris continued their run of top-10 finishes in Singapore practice, taking seventh and eighth ahead of the Renault duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, who completed the top 10.

Lance Stroll took 11th for Racing Point ahead of Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, with Kimi Raikkonen winding up 13th for Alfa Romeo. Sergio Perez was seven-tenths slower than teammate Stroll in P14, but could manage just four laps in the session after clipping the wall at the exit of Turn 21 with his right-rear wheel. The hit left debris on the track and damaged the rear of the Mexican’s Racing Point car, leaving the team with repairs to complete ahead of qualifying later today.

George Russell impressed for Williams in 15th, lapping eight-tenths quicker than teammate Robert Kubica in P19, as well as beating Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

Daniil Kvyat propped up the running order after his session was brought to an early end by a power unit-related issue. The Toro Rosso mechanics quickly set to work to resolve the problem, but were unable to get the Russian back out on-track before the end of FP3. Honda later confirmed it was caused by an oil leak, and will make a penalty-free power unit change ahead of qualifying.

Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix begins at 2100 local time (1400 BST).

 

Comments

Loading Comments...