Singapore Grand Prix: Friday Practice RecapSeptember 15, 2023
Round 16 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship commenced with practice on Friday as teams prepared for Sunday night’s 62-lap Singapore Grand Prix
It was in typically hot and humid conditions where MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers extracted the most from their respective VF-23s around the revised 4.940-kilometer (3.069-mile), 19-turn Marina Bay Street Circuit. P9 for Kevin Magnussen and P11 for Nico Hulkenberg at the end of FP2 proved to be the highlight of the day for the team.
Both drivers set their fastest laps under the lights on the Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires. Magnussen had earlier sampled the Yellow medium compound but swapped onto the softer rubber to bank a 1:33.017 lap to secure his place in the top-10.
Hulkenberg, who started his night on White hard tires, just missed out on the top half of the timesheet delivering a 1:33.139 on the softs. High-fuel runs rounded out the night program on both sides of the garage.
FP1, held in the early evening, produced a best lap of 1:34.887 from Magnussen (P15) and a 1:34.985 from Hulkenberg (P17) – both on softs after opening stints on hard tires.
Magnussen and Hulkenberg ran a combined total of 92 laps on Friday.
“It was good on one lap on low-fuel, on high-fuel we’re still struggling a bit for pace. That’s our focus as always, this year. It’s the high-fuel performance that is lacking and what we’re looking at and focusing on. It’s one of the tracks which is harder to overtake at, so if you can start further up, maybe that means a little bit more here than on others. Hopefully we can have a good qualifying and try and hang on to a good position.”
“In FP1 and FP2, we were getting all the usual data for the car and the circuit. We’ve been playing and working with the set-up, and got some runs in, so there’s plenty to look at tonight. Over qualifying I think we should be fairly competitive but race-wise still, it’s going to be a challenge. I expect it to be tight again, it’s a faster lap now which brings the field closer together and the slightest of differences can have a big impact. I want to qualify as high-up as possible given overtaking is difficult.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“It wasn’t a bad Friday for us today. We ran all of our program and it seems the car is working a little bit better here but I don’t want to jump to any conclusions yet. It’s day one of a long weekend so we need to see now how the car goes in the long run as it wasn’t possible to do more than eight or nine consecutive laps today. All in all, it was a good day because we did our testing and we found some improvements that the drivers like, but it is only day one.”
Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Singapore Grand Prix – Friday September 15
Location: Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
Layout: 4.940-kilometer (3.069-mile), 19-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Clear
Drivers: Nico Hulkenberg & Kevin Magnussen
Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:
Magnussen: 15th overall (1:34.887), 23 laps completed
Hulkenberg: 17th overall (1:34.985), 22 laps completed
Fastest: Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari (1:33.350)
Free Practice 2 (FP2) Rundown:
Magnussen: 9th overall (1:33.017), 25 laps completed
Hulkenberg: 11th overall (1:33.139), 22 laps completed
Fastest: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari (1:32.120)