December 9, 2023

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Leclerc leads the FP1 session interrupted by the lizards

Leclerc leads the FP1 session interrupted by the lizards

Lando Norris’ first two flying laps led the way at the top of the times for much of the opening stage of the session, with drivers able to pick up speed on the dusty track as they ran the two stiffer vehicles – the excess understeer spreading into the slower opening turns early on.

Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton managed to hold Norris back as their long opening laps on the hard surfaces wound down, before the transport-equipped McLaren driver surged ahead with a time of 1:34.776 seconds.

The group returned to the pits en masse after reaching the 20-minute mark of the one-hour session, after which Alpine rider Pierre Gasly led the switch to soft tires as the halfway point approached.

His first lap was no better than Norris’ lead on the medium tyres, and when the majority of the rest came out on the red-walled tyre, their preparations were interrupted by a yellow flag running at Turn 8 which lasted more than two minutes as a lizard ventured out. On the circle.

Once on the move, George Russell and Sainz finally got around Norris’ mediocre effort with their opening soft jumper, before the McLaren driver stormed back to the front with a time of 1:33.522 seconds after also taking the soft one.

A huge development factor on the track early in the weekend in Singapore meant that the drivers found time even after a few laps on the soft tyres, with Charles Leclerc being quickest with a time of 1:33.350 seconds as the session passed the two-thirds distance mark.

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Verstappen was second a few moments later, 0.126 seconds behind Red Bull, the Dutchman, who complained that his RB19 was oversteering too much early on as he ran away in the lower reaches of the top 10 and felt that it was once again “too” shifting. Aggression.”

After several drivers made the return trip to the pits quicker than during the previous switch from hard to soft tyres, Sainz moved ahead of Verstappen to trail Leclerc by less than a tenth.

Heading into the final 10 minutes, Leclerc emerged at a time when he had just failed to beat his first lap, and then a second lizard appeared a little further down the track towards the left-hand turn nine which brought out another yellow flag – although he remained out of the field this time around. The time period is much shorter.

Several drivers, including leaders Leclerc, Sainz and Verstappen, returned again for the final stage of FP1, where a lizard that Russell claimed was different from the previous reptiles that had also briefly interrupted the track entered the Turn 8/9 area.

In the final standings, Norris, who made a series of McLaren updates not yet available to Oscar Piastri (19) in the other MCL60, finished fourth ahead of Hamilton and Russell.

Sergio Perez finished seventh in the second Red Bull, ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, while Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten for AlphaTauri and Alpine respectively.