Carlos Sainz Jr. - credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1: Sainz keeps Ferrari on top in final Singapore GP practice

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. turned a lap of 1m32.065s to just nip the Mercedes of George Russell by 0.069s in final practice for the Singapore GP.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Carlos Sainz Jr. is driving with real confidence and beginning to bury his highly rated teammate Charles Leclerc every race weekend.

Russell though, has also looked pretty good here, and is also carrying some confidence into qualifying, as is Norris.

George Russell - LAT Images for Mercedes
George Russell – LAT Images for Mercedes

With four different teams in the top four positions, qualifying in 2 hours should be extremely tight. When you factor in a Red Bull car with issues, a Ferrari that is looking right on it and Mercedes and McLaren also in the mix.

Overnight rain washed all the rubber put down on the track on Friday and it took half the session for the times to really start tumbling.

Lando Norris was third in the highly revised McLaren while Max Verstappen, complaining of transmission shifts, only 4th 0.313s behind the Ferrari.

Max Verstappen on the radio: “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.”

Charles Leclerc rounded out the top-5 in the #16 Ferrari.

Advantage Ferrari ahead of qualifying, with both drivers also pushing and pushing hard in a display of pretty supreme confidence.

It’s Ferrari who swept all three practice sessions, with Sainz looking like the faster of the two Ferrari’s.

Sainz looks supremely confident out there, carrying the momentum from that pole earned last time out in Monza.

Dead last once again was American rookie Logan Sargeant who just is not putting in lap times close enough to his more experienced teammate.

There are calls for Williams to cut Sargeant loose because he is consistently 0.5 to 0.6s slower than Alex Albon his teammate. He had better get his act together soon, or he will be relegated to a secondary series like IndyCar or Le Mans.

2023 Singapore GP Practice 3 Results

1 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1:32.065 +0.000s 22
2 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:32.134 +0.069s 19
3 4 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1:32.303 +0.238s 16
4 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:32.378 +0.313s 20
5 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:32.381 +0.316s 24
6 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:32.535 +0.470s 17
7 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes 1:32.730 +0.665s 17
8 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda 1:32.784 +0.719s 19
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari 1:32.896 +0.831s 17
10 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 1:32.945 +0.880s 17
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:32.970 +0.905s 15
12 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1:32.979 +0.914s 18
13 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:33.051 +0.986s 18
14 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:33.126 +1.061s 22
15 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault 1:33.351 +1.286s 18
16 40 Liam Lawson AlphaTauri Honda 1:33.357 +1.292s 18
17 23 Alexander Albon Williams Mercedes 1:33.370 +1.305s 14
18 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:33.540 +1.475s 25
19 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:33.637 +1.572s 23
20 2 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes 1:33.708 +1.643s 15
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