Max third in Singapore FP2: 'We'll try to optimise the car a bit more'
Published on 14 September 2018 by Stefan Meens
After P2 in the opening practice session of the Singapore Grand Prix, Max Verstappen finished third in FP2. Around the Marina Bay Circuit, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) was quickest, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo finished the day in fourth.
“We can still improve”, said Max. “I wasn’t a perfect day for me but we’ll see what happens tomorrow. We don’t have to pace to fight for pole position but we can try to optimise the car a bit more.”
At the start of the session, most drivers went out on the ultra-soft Pirellis. During the early running, Lewis Hamilton went off at turn 14, using the escape road. The world champion was closing rapidly on the Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari when he locked up into the right-hander, narrowly avoiding the Ferrari.
When drivers switched to hyper-softs for qualifying simulations, Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) briefly went fastest before team-mate Hamilton set the pace.
At the session’s halfway mark, Sebastian Vettel nudged the wall in his Ferrari and was forced to return to the pits. Meanwhile, most drivers shifted their focus onto long runs. On one of his, Max repored an issue coming out of turn 7. Nevertheless, the Dutchman was able to continue.
With twenty minutes to go, Max headed out on a set of used hyper-softs. The long-run lap times of him and Ricciardo are competitive and show that the race pace of the RB14 is good.
In the closing stages, the front runners did not improve their laptimes meaning Raikkone finishes FP2 fastest ahead of Hamilton and Max. Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing’s team principal Christian Horner told Channel 4: “We’re doing pretty well on the ultra-softs but not on the hyper-softs so we still have work to do tonight. The hyper-soft is not the tyre you want to start the race on but we might have to in order to progress to Q3. But maybe it’ll improve over the weekend.”
In the final minutes, Max told the team over the radio he stills feels there is something going on with the car. After a few instructions to change settings, Max was able to run on-track until the end of the session, completing the Marina Bay Circuit a total of 28 times.