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Formula 1

Hamilton tops his first F1 practice of 2022 in Singapore FP1

by Ben Anderson
3 min read

Lewis Hamilton set the pace for Mercedes in first practice for Formula 1’s Singapore Grand Prix, narrowly beating championship leader Max Verstappen to the quickest time.

Key moments:

> Hamilton 0.084s up on Verstappen

> Leclerc hampered by Ferrari brake problems

> Stroll crashes to bring out red flag

> Upgraded McLaren only 19th

Verstappen held a firm grip over the top spot on the timesheet for most of FP1 at the Marina Bay Circuit, leading the way comfortably on medium and soft tyres before a late show from seven-time F1 champion Hamilton carried Mercedes to the summit.

Hamilton set a 1m43.033s best on a circuit Mercedes traditionally struggles at but expects to do reasonably well at this year given W13s relatively strong recent form on high-downforce tracks such as Budapest and Zandvoort.

Hamilton’s effort was enough to depose Verstappen by just under a tenth of a second. This is the first time he’s topped an F1 practice session in 2022, although he did previously finish fastest in Q1 in Hungary.

Charles Leclerc recovered from a difficult start to the session to finish third-fastest for Ferrari, four tenths off the pace.

Leclerc reported a brake problem at the start of the session and spent a long time in the pits as Ferrari worked to rectify the issue.

Team-mate Carlos Sainz also had some difficulty. He spent the first half of the session pounding around on the hard-compound tyre, before making a set-up adjustment to his Ferrari and switching to soft tyres.

He almost crashed at Turn 5 on his first flying lap and then ruined the end of his best effort by almost crashing again across the outside kerb that bridges the final two corners of the lap.

He finished the session sixth-quickest, 1.1s off the pace and behind the Red Bull of Sergio Perez (which broke a driveshaft) and George Russell’s Mercedes – which encountered some “torque overrun” issues earlier in the session, and also survived a brief nose into the wall after a brake lock-up.

Esteban Ocon was seventh in the best of the Alpines, which are yet to run the new floor update the team has brought to Singapore, while Lance Stroll put Aston Martin eighth fastest before striking the wall at the Turn 5 right-hander and causing a red flag.

Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and Fernando Alonso’s Alpine rounded out the top 10. Alonso was second-fastest on medium tyres in the early part of the session when the track was lacking grip, before falling back as others fitted soft tyres and improved.

Valtteri Bottas put Alfa Romeo briefly inside the top six on medium tyres, but that effort was eventually only good enough for 13th overall, behind Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin and Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren.

Alex Albon marked his return to F1 action after appendicitis by recording the 16th-fastest time for Williams, while Lando Norris was only 19th in the upgraded McLaren-Mercedes. He was in the top four early on, but slipped back as the session progressed.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m43.033s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m43.117s +0.084s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m43.435s +0.402s
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m43.839s +0.806s
5 George Russell Mercedes 1m44.066s +1.033s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m44.138s +1.105s
7 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m44.736s +1.703s
8 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m45.221s +2.188s
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m45.258s +2.225s
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m45.336s +2.303s
11 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m45.354s +2.321s
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m45.724s +2.691s
13 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m45.725s +2.692s
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m46.028s +2.995s
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m46.081s +3.048s
16 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m46.119s +3.086s
17 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m46.408s +3.375s
18 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m46.601s +3.568s
19 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m46.68s +3.647s
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m47.092s +4.059s
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