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Ricciardo tops practice for Singapore Grand Prix

16 September, 2017, 02:21 | Author: Joan Malone
  • One Republic perform during practice for the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore. Brendon Thorne  Singapore GP via Getty Images

The Australian clocked a quickest time of 1:40.852 in P2, 0.556 seconds ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen in second, while Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton was nearly a second slower than the early pacesetter in third.

Vettel is likely to be more of a threat in qualifying today after enduring a frustrating time in second practice, the German finishing 11th after having his best run blocked before giving the barrier a whack.

"This is a good day, but it's important that we do it tomorrow and Sunday, those are the days that count", said Ricciardo, who set a track record of 1min 40.852sec in second practice.

"We got it, another step, I think we can get another half a step out of it, that's what I'm looking for". "We've fortunately got one this year", he said.

Ricciardo is therefore confident that an ever-improving Red Bull outfit will be able to make it a three-way fight this weekend.

Singapore is like Monaco and Hungary in that it is a hard-braking circuit which is tough to overtake on and more suited to Ferrari and Red Bull than Mercedes. "But nothing is out of reach".

How title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have fared in each race this season.

One Republic performs on the Padang Stage in Singapore. Mark Kolbe  Singapore GP via Getty Images
One Republic performs on the Padang Stage in Singapore. Mark Kolbe Singapore GP via Getty Images

This weekend's race could prove to be the only course of the remaining seven grands prix where Ferrari will hold the advantage over Hamilton and his Mercedes team.

Kimi Raikkonen would only manage ninth on a used set of ultrasofts when he went out, but Vettel would not go for a similar run in this session.

"I said the Ferrari could be a problem, and now it's Red Bull", Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told Sky Sports television.

After a disastrous start to the season with a non-finish in Melbourne, Ricciardo has rebuilt his confidence and is happy with Red Bull's progress.

Renault-bound Carlo Sainz Jr, who struggled with understeer on his long runs, was the leading Toro Rosso, almost fourth tenths quicker than team-mate Daniil Kvyat, in 12th. "For some reason Ferrari are slower, I don't know why".

Nico Hulkenberg went an impressive fifth-fastest for Renault, ahead of McLaren pair Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso.

McLaren have confirmed they will ditch Honda at the end of the season after a disastrous three years being powered by the Japanese giant. The British-based team will switch to Renault next year, with Honda moving to Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso.

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