Daniel Ricciardo edges Sebastian Vettel in opening practice
Singapore Grand Prix - Free Practice 1

Daniel Ricciardo edges Sebastian Vettel in opening practice

15/09/2017

Ferrari may have come to Singapore as pre-race favourites but it was Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo who claimed top honours in the opening practice session at Marina Bay.

Running the ultra-soft tyre like the majority of the field, the Australian finished with a time of 1:42.489, just over a tenth of second quicker than teammate Max Verstappen, who finished third fastest. Red Bull had been bullish about its chances in Singapore this weekend with Ricciardo claiming it was the team's best chance of scoring a win in the remaining seven races of the season.

Historically, Singapore has been a happy hunting ground for Red Bull having won on three occasions and been on the podium every year since 2010.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel waited until the final 20 minutes of the session before splitting the Red Bulls and slotting into second place. For the first time in 2017 the German does not lead the drivers' championship but is widely expected to still be the man to beat on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton, who is searching for a hatrick of wins after claiming maximum points in Spa and Monza, was fourth quickest, 0.415s off the Red Bull's pace. Hamilton lead for much of the early part of the session but was unable to improve after being demoted to fourth.

Despite admitting Singapore would be the toughest race of the season for Force India, Sergio Perez was fifth fastest, finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas' Mercedes and the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

In familiar circumstances, Fernando Alonso complained mid-session of a loss of power, but it didn't seem to impact his times with the Spaniard finishing eighth. Ranault's Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten.

The high downforce nature of the circuit doesn't play into the hands of Williams who struggled in the opening session. Felipe Massa could only manage 14th, over 2.5s off the pace while teammate Lance Stroll never looked comfortable and ended the session 17th.

Free practice one is an unusual session in Singapore as it is run in complete daylight, a stark contract from qualifying and race conditions. A more accurate indication of true pace is expected to be uncovered in FP2.

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