Carlos Sainz completes Ferrari clean sweep of Singapore GP practice sessions by pipping George Russell to fastest Practice Three time; Max Verstappen vocal on team radio about Red Bull issues; Watch Qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 at 2pm
By Jonathan Green in Singapore
Last Updated: 16/09/23 12:57pm
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Max Verstappen is not happy with the state of the upshifts in his car as Red Bull continue to struggle in Singapore.
Carlos Sainz confirmed Ferrari are favourites for pole position by topping Practice Three at the Singapore Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen remained adrift and labelled issues with his Red Bull “unacceptable”.
Ferrari have topped all three practice sessions at the Marina Bay Street Circuit with Sainz following up his Friday pace with a 1:32.065 on the soft tyres.
That was just enough to pip George Russell for the fastest time with the Mercedes driver 0.069s off the Ferrari, while Lando Norris was two tenths back in third to confirm there are plenty of teams in contention heading into this afternoon’s qualifying session, which starts at 2pm live on Sky Sports F1 with build-up from 1pm.
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But Red Bull look like they face a battle just to secure a spot on the second row let alone the fight for pole as Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez remained off the pace.
Verstappen fumed on his team radio about “unacceptable” gear shifts and had been well adrift of Sainz’s time until his final lap of the session was enough to put him into fourth, three tenths down on the lead Ferrari. The Dutchman also complained about a lack of grip, saying after the session “I think if I’m going to compete in drifting I might win the race.”
“Four different teams in the top four and the Red Bull fourth in that list,” Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok said.
“I wouldn’t have been putting money on that on Thursday morning when we got here.”
Perez – last year’s race winner – was only eighth, seven tenths of a second behind Sainz and was also vocal on team radio about his handling issues.
Verstappen’s final lap was just enough to get him ahead of Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari, although the Monegasque had to back out of two flying lap efforts due to errors. Leclerc had been ahead on Sainz’s sector one time on the second of those occassions.
Lewis Hamilton was unable to match the pace of team-mate Russell in the other Mercedes and had to settle for the sixth fastest time.
The F1 Kids is back for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix! Sky F1 subscribers can hit the Red Button on their TV remote from 12.55pm on Sunday for an alternative commentary feed. The race starts at 1pm.
Oscar Piastri followed behind Hamilton as the Australian showed an improvement from Friday to slot into seventh ahead of Perez.
Nico Hulkenberg was ninth for Haas ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, whose AlphaTauri team-mate Liam Lawson did well to keep his car out of the barriers after spinning at Turn One.
Aston Martin will be hoping for an improved showing once qualifying gets under way under the floodlights, with Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll only 13th and 14th.
Singapore GP Practice Three Timesheet
|1. Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||1:32.065|
|2. George Russell||Mercedes||+0.069s|
|3. Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.238s|
|4. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.313s|
|5. Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.316s|
|6. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.470s|
|7. Oscar Piastri||McLaren||+0.665s|
|8. Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+0.719s|
|9. Nico Hulkenberg||Haas||+0.831s|
|10. Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+0.880s|
|11. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+0.905s|
|12. Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+0.914s|
|13. Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+0.986s|
|14. Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+1.061s|
|15. Pierre Gasly||Alpine||+1.286s|
|16. Liam Lawson||AlphaTauri||+1.292s|
|17. Alex Albon||Williams||+1.305s|
|18. Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+1.475s|
|19. Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||+1.572s|
|20. Logan Sargeant||Williams||+1.643s|