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Singapore GP: Encouraging FP1 for ROKiT Williams

By Andrew Hooper
September 20 2019

The opening Friday practice session for the 2019 Singapore GP would see the ROKiT Williams team complete an encouraging session. Robert Kubica would finish 0.7 ahead of team-mate Geiorge Russell with the pair 17th and 20th but it should be noted that neither driver had set a time on the soft tyre during the session having focused on several runs on thee medium tyre. The quickest times in the session had been set on the soft tyre so it is hopeful that in the second friday session both Williams drivers should improve.

 ROKiT Williams Singapore GP Friday 1st Practice

Team Summary:
Drivers would start coming out for the opening Friday practice session for the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix. thee would be a mix of soft, medium and hard tyres been used. The first lap time would come from Leclerc with a 1m:46.180 running on the medium tyre. Vettel would move into second but was well of Leclerc's pace. The Ferrari pair were on long runs both on the medium tyre. Leclerc would improve with a 1m:43.618. More drivers started to join them with a Williams third. As more times were set Bottas would go quickest with a 1m:43.041 on the soft tyre. He was followed by Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Leclerc and Vettel. Both Ferrari's had pitted as Albon went fifth. Hamilton would go quickest with a 1m:42.412 making it a Mercedes 1-2.

After the initial runs the Williams drivers were slowest as the track emptied with forty minutes completed as drivers pitted to return their first set of tyres. Hamilton was fastest with a 1m:41.469 followed by Verstappen, Stroll, Bottas, Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Gasly, Perez, Leclerc and Albon in tenth. The first driver to return was Bottas on the hard tyre. He would improve to be second. He would improve again with a 1m:41.336 to be quickest. On their next runs Vettel would set a 1m:40.426 to be quickest using the soft tyre. Leclerc would pit with an gearbox issue with his car. Both Williams drivers would improve with Robert ahead of George by 0.6 with the pair dropping to be 13th and 16th. The session would be red flagged with Bottas crashing heavily into the barrier at Turn 19. The track would empty with twenty three minutes remaining.

At the front Verstappen had gone quickest with a 1m:40.259 running on the soft tyre. Hamilton was third followed by Bottas, Albon, Hulkenberg, Kvyat, Gasly, Ricciardo, and Grosjean tenth with all times set on the soft tyre. Neither Williams driver had used the soft tyre but their next runs were again on the medium tyre. Ten minutes remaining and the Williams pair were now 15th and 18th. Sainz and Norris were now 7th and 8th. The Williams drivers dropped down the times to be 16th and 19th but yet to take on the soft tyre, as they continued their runs on the medium tyre. The Williams drivers would finish in 17th and 20th positions while the top ten would be Verstappen, Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Albon, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Norris, Kvyat and Gasly. Neither Williams driver had taken the soft tyre during the session so this was encouraging as there prepare for the next practice session.

Robert Kubica:
Robert would finally come out with fifteen minutes completed running on the medium tyre. Robert's car would a huge amount of sparks coming from underneath as he completed his first lap. Robert would set a 1m:49.163 to be third but he would drop down the order. He would improve with a 1m:47.728 as he continued to lap the circuit. He would improve with a 1m:47.466. Robert had completed nine laps with an improved lap time of 1m:46.143. His tenth lap would see a 1m:45.873. He would pit with eleven laps completed. Robert would join his team-mate back out on the track. Robert would set a 1m:43.336 to be sixth. He would drop to eleventh. Robert was now 0.6 ahead of his team-mate. Robert was also back out on a new set of medium tyres. Robert would complete nine lap as the session ended.

George Russell:
George would be first out in the opening Friday practice running on the hard tyre. He would pit after a single installation lap. George would return this time on the medium tyre. He would set a 1m:49.046 complaining about a weird vibration under braking from the front axle. he would improve with a 1m:48.179. George would see his pace improve on this new circuit setting a 1m:47.438. This would be followed by a 1m:46.197. George would improve to move ahead of Robert with a 1m:45.379. George would return with forty minutes completed. He was back out on the medium tyre and would set a 1m:43.993 to move up to twelfth. He would drop to 16th. With the session restart George would return on a new set of medium tyres. He would complete eleven laps with the end of the session.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m40.259s - 22
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m40.426s 0.167s 23
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m40.925s 0.666s 26
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m41.336s 1.077s 14
5 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m41.467s 1.208s 24
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m41.812s 1.553s 26
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1m41.966s 1.707s 20
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m42.180s 1.921s 19
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1m42.305s 2.046s 26
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1m42.377s 2.118s 24
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m42.527s 2.268s 20
12 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m42.630s 2.371s 23
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m42.677s 2.418s 15
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m42.786s 2.527s 13
15 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m42.791s 2.532s 28
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m43.150s 2.891s 22
17 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m43.336s 3.077s 28
18 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m43.369s 3.110s 23
19 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m43.618s 3.359s 12
20 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m43.993s 3.734s 29

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