Max Verstappen sent offer to quit Red Bull and join F1 rival keen to be his team-mate
Lewis Hamilton could have a real chance of beating Max Verstappen in today’s qualifying session at the Singapore Grand Prix. Red Bull have looked slower than usual in practice, with Ferrari and Mercedes impressing so far on the streets of Marina Bay.
A total of four corners have been temporarily replaced by a longer back straight due to ongoing maintenance work, raising the question of whether an extra DRS zone should be included. A number of teams reportedly voted against the proposal when it was put to them on Friday, though, prompting Hamilton to vent his frustrations after Friday’s practice sessions.
“I think we need DRS in that new last section, which all the drivers requested from the FIA,” said Hamilton.
“The FIA asked all the teams and there were a couple of teams that turned it down. The teams should be for more racing, not against it, and it’s interesting to have few teams that are against it.”
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Russell goes quickest
George Russell jumps to the top of the timesheets with a time of 1:32.478.
Lewis Hamilton goes slightly slower than his Mercedes team-mate and currently finds himself down in fifth.
The top four drivers are separated by less than one-tenth as things stand.
Elsewhere on the track, Lance Stroll fumes over his team radio after being impeded by Kevin Magnussen.
Leclerc setting early pace
Charles Leclerc goes quickest with his first lap time of 1:32.523.
He leads Lando Norris by just 0.033 seconds, with Sergio Perez third and Max Verstappen fourth.
Only 11 drivers have clocked meaningful lap times as of yet.
Here we go!
Qualifying is now underway in Singapore and the drivers are beginning to emerge from the pit lane for the start of Q1.
The likes of Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be hoping to avoid any slip-ups to progress safely through into Q2.
Russell backing Ferrari
“Ferrari are the favourites,” says George Russell on Sky Sports F1 when asked to predict today’s qualifying session.
“I think they probably had a couple of tenths in the engine [on Friday] left to come, but I think Lando is on a par with us.”
Sainz plays down Ferrari hopes
Carlos Sainz is fully expecting Red Bull to come good in Singapore this weekend despite Ferrari having led the Austrian team in practice.
“I don’t believe that for a moment,” said the Spaniard when asked if he feels that Red Bull are experiencing a mini-crisis.
“People should look at their long runs, they were the fastest. Yes, we have started well, yes, we are a little surprised ourselves.
“We know that a dominant car doesn’t mean you always dominate in Singapore, which we also saw with Mercedes when they were dominating, but to automatically conclude that we will be in pole position would be presumptuous.”
Red Bull working to fix problems
“It’s all reliant on the software and the electrical settings, so it’s all about tuning those,” says Christian Horner when asked by Sky Sports F1 about Red Bull’s upshift issues during FP3.
“Hopefully we can give him an upshift and downshift in quali. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to sort it out.
“We need every bit of performance, you can see it is very competitive here, it’s what we expected. We are going to need to have every ounce of performance to be on the front row.”
Verstappen unhappy in practice
Max Verstappen was furious with his Red Bull team during FP3 earlier today as he slumped to a fourth-placed finish behind Carlos Sainz, George Russell and Lando Norris.
He was simply unable to mix it with the fastest drivers of the session and fumed over the radio, saying: “I’m sorry, but I cannot drive with these upshifts. What the f**k is this? Unacceptable.”
After the session had ended, the Dutchman said: “It’s not only upshifts [but] also downshifts. I’m just struggling for rear grip. You see that last sector?
“I’m just drifting. I think if I’m going to compete in drifting I might win the race.”
Hello and welcome to Express Sport‘s live coverage of qualifying ahead of tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen appears to be facing a tricky battle to secure pole position, with Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren all looking quick around the streets of Marina Bay.
Will the Dutchman be able to fend off the competition at a venue he has never won at before? We’ll soon find out…
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