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F1: Ferrari Should be Worried about RedBull's Performance in FP2

Benhur J
332   //    15 Sep 2018, 10:14 IST

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice
F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice

For winning the championship, Ferrari not only would want to win races but also would want RedBull to take as many points from Mercedes, particularly at this stage of the season. This weekend, in particular, on a street track that rewards high downforce car, Ferrari would want RedBull to get ahead of Mercedes.

But if we go by the performance of Red Bull in FP2, or rather Mercedes, which could slot ahead of Red Bull, Ferrari must be worried.

In FP1 in the afternoon, Daniel Ricciardo’s impressive street circuit skills were on display, as he set a searing pace, with a 1:39.711 lap time on hypersoft, the softest compound Pirelli brought this week. 

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice
Red Bull displayed Strong pace in Free Practice 1

He was ahead of his teammate, Max Verstappen by two tenths ahead, and 0.286s ahead of his former teammate and Ferrari driver, Sebastian Vettel, who in turn half a second ahead of his departing teammate, Kimi Raikkonen. Championship leader, Lewis Hamilton was 1.5 seconds off the pace set by the Australian, and 1.2 seconds off his main title rival. This session went as what many expected.

However, in FP2, under the lights but still hot and sticky Singapore, the two Red Bull cars could not reproduce the form, they showed in FP1. Although Max edged Ricciardo for the third position behind Kimi and Hamilton, the Red Bulls were half a second behind. Wonder how much did the minor oil leak on Max's car impact his outright pace.

Chief of Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner admitted that the team struggled to find the right balance on the hypersoft tires. However, Red Bull showed better long-run pace under lights. In a circuit, where track position is critical, the Red Bull cars have to get in ahead of or between Mercedes and Ferrari to challenge for victory.

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Practice
Mercedes looked closer to Ferrari in Free Practice 2

If Red Bulls get in between the championship contenders on the race day, they will hurt the prospect of trailing car. This is where, Ferrari would want Red Bull to get ahead of Mercedes, but it looks like a tough ask, as not only Mercedes seems to have improved their performance under the lights at Marina Bay on Friday night, they could turn up the engine performance to extract the extra pace advantage. Can't wait for qualifying session to get underway!!