Leclerc tops truncated wet practice in Singapore

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc has topped a shortened wet final practice session ahead of Sunday’s Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix.

Leclerc headed Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz at the end of a session that only saw on-track action in the final 30 minutes of the hour.

While technically the session got going on time, it did so with a red light at pit exit.

It was designed to ensure at least some running, should the conditions improve sufficiently to allow it, given any delay to Free Practice 3 would impact the start time (and therefore the television timings) for Qualifying.

The pit exit was finally opened after 30 minutes had elapsed, though it took another two minutes before Pierre Gasly trundled out.

He did so on the full wet tyres, plumes of spray trailing the Scuderia AlphaTauri.

There remained puddles in some sections but otherwise, there was little in the way of standing water.

Gasly’s first timed lap was a 2:09.894s, more than 25 seconds slower than the times seen during dry running on Friday.

Verstappen was the first to brave the intermediate rubber when he rolled out of the garage with 21 minutes remaining.

He quickly went fastest with a 2:06.872s, while others followed his lead and bolted on the shallow-grooved rubber.

That included Gasly, who improved to a 2:06.115s to leave himself 0.7s clear at the top of the timesheets.

He held that spot only until Verstappen completed his next lap, the Dutchman managing a 2:03.272s.

Gasly also went faster, though fell 0.206s shy of his former team-mate’s effort.

Times continued to tumble as conditions improved, and a hint of a dry line appeared in places.

That saw Verstappen record a 1:59.456s inside the final 10 minutes at a time when all 20 cars were on track.

It was important running, as there is the real possibility Qualifying will also be wet.

With five minutes remaining, Leclerc rose to the top of the timesheets with a 1:58.899s, improving next time by to 1:57.782s, 0.586s clear of Verstappen.

Conditions were notably better at the conclusion of the session, the plumes of spray seen when Gasly first exited the lane almost non-existent unless a car ran off line; outside of the racing line and it remained treacherous.

When the chequered flag fell on the truncated session, Leclerc was fastest from Verstappen, then Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso.

Sergio Perez slotted in fifth ahead of Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel, George Russell, and Daniel Ricciardo.

Qualifying follows next, at 21:00 local time.

Results: Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Free Practice 3

Pos Num Driver Team Laps Time Diff
1 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 10 1:57.782
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 11 1:58.308 +0.526s
3 55 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari 11 1:58.848 +1.066s
4 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team 8 1:59.429 +1.647s
5 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 10 1:59.526 +1.744s
6 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin F1 Team 10 2:00.373 +2.591s
7 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team 8 2:00.911 +3.129s
8 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin F1 Team 10 2:01.007 +3.225s
9 63 George Russell Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 9 2:01.010 +3.228s
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team 12 2:01.036 +3.254s
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 12 2:01.089 +3.307s
12 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 7 2:01.220 +3.438s
13 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri 14 2:01.245 +3.463s
14 47 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team 12 2:01.502 +3.720s
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri 13 2:01.679 +3.897s
16 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 12 2:01.791 +4.009s
17 23 Alex Albon Williams Racing 12 2:01.907 +4.125s
18 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo F1 Team 11 2:02.066 +4.284s
19 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo F1 Team 11 2:02.599 +4.817s
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing 9 2:03.510 +5.728s

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