Marina Bay Circuit, Friday 15 September
Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne enjoyed a pair of trouble-free and consistent practice sessions around the streets of Marina Bay this evening.
On his very first visit to the track, Stoffel immediately got down to business, running a handful of reconnaissance laps using a prototype halo before properly kicking off his FP1 programme.
He was quickly up to speed, running without problem throughout both sessions, and ended the day sixth fastest after setting a best time of 1m42.788s during this evening’s nighttime FP2 session.
Fernando also enjoyed two smooth sessions, he led the way in first practice, before ending up immediately behind Stoffel in seventh at the end of FP2.
FERNANDO ALONSO, McLaren Honda driver, MCL32-02
|FP1||1m43.759s (+1.270s)||19 laps||8th|
|FP2||1m42.788s (+1.936s)||32 laps||7th|
“Our performance today was good; basically in line with what we were expecting around here. We knew that, at this track, we were going to be more competitive than we were at Spa and Monza.
“We got both cars into the top 10 today, and I hope we can achieve that tomorrow in qualifying and then again in Sunday’s race.
“We need those points: we’re ninth in the constructors’ championship, so every opportunity we get to score points, we need to grab with both hands.”
STOFFEL VANDOORNE, McLaren Honda driver, MCL32-03
|FP1||1m44.340s (+1.851s)||25 laps||11th|
|FP2||1m42.501s (+1.649s)||34 laps||6th|
“For me, it’s been a very positive Friday, finishing sixth in FP2 despite having never driven around here before.
“I was discovering this track for the first time during FP1, and I got to grips with it quite quickly today.
“On paper, it looks like it’s been a particularly good day, but the two Ferraris didn’t appear to have an ideal session and ended FP2 behind us. They probably have something more in hand for tomorrow., but hopefully, we can still translate today’s pace into qualifying tomorrow.”
ERIC BOULLIER, McLaren Honda Racing Director
“Watching Formula 1 cars around the darkened streets of Singapore is always spectacular, and it was especially pleasing to finish this evening’s FP2 session with both cars comfortably inside the top 10.
“Both drivers were relatively satisfied with the balance of their cars, and we have a solid basis for making progress overnight ahead of tomorrow’s critical qualifying session. A good grid position will be essential ahead of this long and difficult race on Sunday.
“Of particular note is Stoffel’s performance: he drove exceptionally well today. He’s never driven at this track before, was immediately on the pace, didn’t make any mistakes, and ended the day an impressive sixth fastest today. That’s extremely impressive.”
YUSUKE HASEGAWA, Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Chief Engineer
“The Singapore Grand Prix weekend started under a typical tropical climate. Despite the hot and humid conditions, all the members of the team did a good job, completing the practice programme as scheduled.
“It is still Friday, so I know it is too early to talk about our position. However, we were satisfied with good laps which both of our drivers showed today. We also think we have some more room to improve the set-up of the car for tomorrow's FP3.
“This is a circuit where our car can show its strengths. And also considering we have two talented drivers with us, we are hoping to have a positive result in tomorrow's qualifying.”