Formula 1 had its first taste ever of a wet practice session at the Singapore Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc pipping Max Verstappen by half a second.
Arriving at the Marina Bay circuit on Saturday to thunderstorms, Formula 1 braced for a wet day in Singapore, and wet is what they got so much so that Pirelli dished out an extra set of intermediate tyres for each car.
FP3 began on time, 6pm local time, but with the pit lane closed given the deluge being dropped on the 23-corner circuit.
The only laps covered in the first 30 minutes of the hour-long session were with Bernd Mayländer behind the wheel of the Mercedes Safety Car.
But during that time we found out Daniel Ricciardo’s first job was a cafe waiter, Alex Albon is a massive fan of Angels by Robbie Williams and Mick Schumacher’s hero is his dad.
The pit lane opened halfway through the session with Pierre Gasly the first out on a set of full wets. A 2:09 for the AlphaTauri driver as one by one the rest of the field joined the action, Valtteri Bottas telling Alfa Romeo “the inters might be better”.
Max Verstappen went straight for the inters and straight to the top with a 2:06, 1.8s up on Carlos Sainz on the wets, and then did a 2:03 with Gasly up to second and Sergio Perez P3. All three were running the inters.
Nicholas Latifi ran into trouble, the Williams driver taking to an escape road. “Look at my steering wheel when I brake, my left hand goes to 9 o’clock. It’s not normal, I can’t drive like this,” he said.
Mick Schumacher also had an issue, the Haas driver pulling away from his pit box only to be told to stop the car with his mechanics having a problem with his right rear.
📻 "Stop the car"
— Off Track (@OffTrack_FR) October 1, 2022
Lowering the benchmark time to a 1:58 on his eighth lap, Verstappen reported that his “tyres aren’t too bad, the front tyre is getting a little bit hot”.
He lost P1 to Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver going 0.02s faster before nailing a 1:57 to extend his advantage to half a second.
Yuki Tsunoda wasn’t impressed with Lewis Hamilton, raging over the radio “What is this guy doing?” as the Mercedes driver struggled for grip ahead of him.
Despite his pace-setting time, Leclerc asked Ferrari if his engine was okay as there was a noise at the exit of Turn 7. Ferrari telling him it looks “okay” from their side.
Leclerc finished P1 with a 1:57.782, 0.526s up on Verstappen with Sainz P3, 1.066s down.
1 Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:57.782
2 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.526
3 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +1.066
4 Fernando ALONSO Alpine +1.647
5 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +1.744
6 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +2.591
7 Esteban OCON Alpine +3.129
8 Sebastian VETTEL Aston Martin +3.225
9 George RUSSELL Mercedes +3.228
10 Daniel RICCIARDO McLaren +3.254
11 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +3.307
12 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +3.438
13 Pierre GASLY AlphaTauri +3.463
14 Mick SCHUMACHER Haas F1 Team +3.720
15 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +3.897
16 Lando NORRIS McLaren +4.009
17 Alexander ALBON Williams +4.125
18 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +4.284
19 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +4.817
20 Nicholas LATIFI Williams +5.728