It was a very busy day on track in Singapore, with drivers making the most of the 120 minutes to get to grips with one of the most demanding circuits on the calendar, both in terms of the conditions – very hot weather and running under lights – as well as the intrinsically tricky track characteristics. The only interruptions were caused by a couple of Monitor lizards crossing the track at various points, requiring the marshals to wave yellow flags.
The teams worked through the usual Friday programme, looking for the best set-up in the first hour and concentrating on qualifying and long run simulations in the second one. All drivers used at least one set of Hard tyres, the majority in the first session, while the Medium proved to be the most popular in the second one, at least when testing race pace.
SIMONE BERRA - CHIEF ENGINEER
"It was a very useful day for us, as we were able to gather plenty of data on all three compounds we have here, both on short and long runs. The first observation is that track conditions evolved very quickly during both sessions, a very important factor when it comes to evaluating lap times, although it makes assessing the performance difference between the compounds more complicated. As expected, we saw considerable thermal degradation on all three compounds, obviously the most significant with the Soft.
The new track layout has resulted in a much quicker lap time, which already today has dropped to the predicted pole position time of 1:31.900. The changes to Sector 3 will make traffic management slightly easier in qualifying, but it will still be something to keep an eye on, as is always the case on twisty circuits like this one. In terms of strategy, we think that, given the length of the pit lane, a one-stop is still the clear favourite, with the Hard compound predictably playing a leading role."