Singapore Grand Prix: Leclerc tops third practice, Verstappen second

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who topped free practice two on Friday was third quickest with Fernando Alonso in the Alpine and Sergio Perez in the Red Bull finishing in the top five.

Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 on track during the final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 on track during the final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who topped free practice two on Friday was third quickest with Fernando Alonso in the Alpine and Sergio Perez in the Red Bull finishing in the top five.

Ferrari continued to show promise as Charles Leclerc topped a rain-hit third Free Practice session ahead of Max Verstappen before qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix here at the Marina Bay Street Circuit on Saturday.

There have been rains in the city-state since afternoon with torrential downpours in the hour leading to the final free practice session. Even though the rains stopped just before the scheduled start of practice, Race Control started the session with only thirty minutes left on the clock as there were puddles on the track that had to be cleared away. 

A few drivers started on wet weather tyres before switching to the intermediates. Verstappen led the time charts for a while starting on inters directly but towards the end of the session, Leclerc pipped the reigning champion by half a second on tyres that had done two fewer laps to top the time charts.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who topped free practice two on Friday was third quickest with Fernando Alonso in the Alpine and Sergio Perez in the Red Bull finishing in the top five.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who was shown a good turn of speed this weekend was impressive, finishing sixth, while his teammate Sebastian Vettel was eighth with Esteban Ocon in between them. 

The Mercedes drivers of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton disappointed, being ninth and 12th fastest while Daniel Ricciardo was the faster McLaren, posting the tenth fastest time.

On a track where overtaking is nearly impossible and with the race expected to just have one-stop due to the low degradation in dry conditions, qualifying will play a vital role. Teams will be trying to maximise their one-lap pace rather than their long-run speed for the race as track position is vital. It is an area Ferrari has been strong this year and the evidence so far points to an even battle between the Ferrari and Red Bull, with the former having a slight upper hand. 

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