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.

Singapore GP: Verstappen fastest, Rosbergs crashes in 1st practice

2016-09-16 14:52

GOING FLAT OUT: Red Bull is looking to win the 2016 Singapore GP. Image: AP / Wong Maye-E

Singapore - Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest times and Nico Rosberg crashed out of an eventful Singapore Grand Prix first practice session on Friday.

As day turned into night over the tropical city state, teenager Verstappen lapped the 5.065km Marina Bay circuit in 1min45:823sec, 0.049 sec ahead of his Australian team mate.

Sebastian Vettel, the winner here last year, was third quickest in his Ferrari with championship leader Hamilton only managing fourth, 0.603 seconds slower than Verstappen.

READ: Ricciardo says he'll perform a 'shoey' if he wins in Singapore

Rosberg, who has closed the gap to two points behind his team mate at the top of the world championship, was trying to improve on his best time of 1:46.513 when he locked his brakes on turn 18.

Glowing brakes

Rosberg had to take his hands off the wheel as his Mercedes, with brake discs glowing red hot under the floodlights, careered straight into the barriers.

He managed to extricate his car, minus its front wing, and limp back to the pits with his session ending 15 minutes prematurely.

Mercedes failed to make the podium at Singapore a year ago as Ferrari and Red Bull dominated with their extra mechanical grip negating the Silver Arrows' power advantage.

READ: F1: Three teams target Singapore GP win

Hamilton retired in 2015 after qualifying only fifth and Friday he was complaining over team radio of fierce heat in his car's footwell.

Hamilton reported: "Very hot down by my right ankle. Very, very hot."

Rosberg wasn't the only driver to dice with danger on the twisty street circuit as the track temperature fell after sunset.

Vettel took a chunk out of the wall at turn 21 with the right rear wheel of his Ferrari but was able to report only "cosmetic damage" back to his pit team.

A photo posted by FORMULA 1® (@f1) on

Outside the top 10

McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Sauber's Felipe Nasr were among several drivers who later made the hole in the yellow paint bigger at the same spot.

Jenson Button's practice almost ended before it started on his first out-lap when a software gremlin caused his engine to cut out.

His McLaren was close enough to the pit entrance, however, to be pushed to the garage by marshals and he later emerged to set the 16th fastest time of 1:49.615.

Romain Grosjean was the only driver who failed to get on track in the session.

A leak in the engine of his Haas instead leaving the Frenchman to while away the 90 minutes of the session playing cards in the team hospitality unit with one of his crew.

FP1 times

1. Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull 1min45:823

2. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull 1min45:872

3. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari 1min46:287

4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1min46:426

5. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1min46:513

6. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1min46:890

7. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Toro Rosso 1min46:936

8. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Toro Rosso 1min47:683

9. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams 1min48:044

10. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas 1min48:109

11. Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren 1min48:202

12. Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India 1min48:214

13. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India 1min48:359

14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams 1min48:453

15. Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber 1min49:595

16. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 1min49:615

17. Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault 1min49:794

18. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault 1min50:263

19. Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor 1min51:112

20. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber 1min51:479

21. Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor 1min52:379

22. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.