Lights, Halo, action

Michelle Foster

On the back of news that Singapore will remain on the F1 calendar through to 2021, Formula 1 hit the Marina Bay circuit on Friday afternoon where Halo trials, fast ultras, and the much-awaited expected McLaren announcement set the scene.

New championship leader Lewis Hamilton arrived at the circuit claiming that Ferrari would be the favourites but undoubtedly feeling quietly confident given that Mercedes are chasing their third Singapore win in four seasons.

As for Sebastian Vettel, he may now be three points behind, but he reckons the important part is leading after Abu Dhabi, not Monza. He was sporting a bling helmet for Singapore.

Daniel Ricciardo’s RB13 carried the Halo as he prepared for his first laps of the afternoon.

Stoffel Vandoorne also ran the Halo on Friday.

Felipe Massa isn’t not the happiest of drivers at the moment as he’s still in talks with Williams about his future. He says he wants more love, the rumour mill says he’s on his way out.

Carlos Sainz, rumoured to be off to Renault now or later, sat out FP1 as Toro Rosso ran Sean Gelael, who finished P18.

Nico Hulkenberg had a close encounter with the wall.

Hamilton set the pace midway through FP1 as he edges Max Verstappen by 0.37s.

However, the Red Bull driver fought back with a 1:42.6…

That, though, was soon topped by Daniel Ricciardo as the Aussie clocked a 1:42.4 to finish quickest of all.

After a stream of engine announcements, the focus returned back on track and under the lights at the Marina Bay circuit…

But it was a case of deja vu in Singapore with Ricciardo red-hot and topping the timesheets once again in FP2.

It was an intriguing session, but one to forget for Sebastian Vettel who was unable to set a hot lap because of traffic and then because of this…