New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

2013 Singapore GP: First practice

2013-09-20 14:52

SETTING THE PACE: Lewis Hamilton sets the pace during the first practice session at the 2013 Singapore GP.Image: AP

SINGAPORE - Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first free practice session ahead of the 2013 Singapore Grand Prix. The Mercedes ace was comfortably ahead of the Red Bull on the demanding Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Hamilton, Singapore GP winner in 2009, finished in 1min47.055 in dry conditions to finish 0.365 seconds ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in 1min47.885.


After two difficult weekends on the low downforce circuits in Belgium and Italy, Mercedes are hoping for a marked improvement on a high downforce layout.

Hamilton won in Hungary, another tight and twisty circuit, while team mate Nico Rosberg was victorious in Monaco, the slowest of all.

The team's confidence was bolstered by Hamilton in the first 90-minute session of the Singapore GP weekend with the Mercedes ace commenting: "The circuit feels twice as grippy as 2012" over the team radio after setting the quickest lap.

Rosberg clocked the fourth fastest time (1min48.239) to suggest the weekend is likely to be a straight shootout between Mercedes and Red Bull on a 23-corner circuit where overtaking is very difficult.

Kimi Raikkonen showed that his confirmed switch to Ferrari for in 2014 will not hinder his performance, as the Lotus driver finished fifth fastest ahead of team mate Romain Grosjean.


With rumours circulating around the paddock that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso could be poised for a move to McLaren, Alonso failed to make an impact and was only seventh fastest, 1.307 seconds off the pace.

Alonso has won twice in Singapore but Ferrari will need to find more speed if he is overhaul a 53-point deficit to Vettel.

The session passed with little incident and with the infamous "Singapore Sling" turn 10 chicane less of a threat after track officials took heed of driver complaints. Only a few drivers came close to brushing the wall on the exit.
The Singapore Grand Prix is the 13th round of the 19-race season with races in Korea, Japan, India, Abu Dhabi, the United States and Brazil to follow.

2013 Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit: 1st Free Practice Session
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min47.055
2 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min47.420
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min47.885
4 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min48.239
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min48.354
6 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min48.355
7 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min48.362
8 Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 1min49.267
9 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min49.348
10 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min49.355
11 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min49.481
12 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min49.493
13 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min49.510
14 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min49.608
15 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min49.887
16 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 1min50.092
17 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber 1min50.222
18 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min50.757
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 1min52.359
20 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min52.673
21 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 1min52.920
22 Charles Pic (France) Caterham 1min53.647
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Singapore Grand Prix weekend
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