Ricciardo sets the early Sin­ga­pore pace

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT -

DANIEL Ricciardo’s bid to dom­i­nate the week­end at one of his favourite cir­cuits got off to a fly­ing start when he twice broke his own lap record to be fastest in early prac­tice for Red Bull at the Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix.

He had al­ready crushed his lap record from last year by nearly five sec­onds in the first prac­tice ses­sion be­fore go­ing two sec­onds quicker again in the se­cond ses­sion.

The Aus­tralian clocked 1min 40.852sec un­der the flood­lights and was con­fi­dent Red Bull could main­tain their speed all week­end.

“I’m not sur­prised with our per­for­mance,” Ricciardo (pic­tured) said. “It’s im­por­tant that we ob­vi­ously keep that for (qual­i­fy­ing) but I have faith that we can per­form on this level all week­end.”

Team­mate Max Ver­stap­pen was se­cond, more than half a se­cond be­hind, while cham­pi­onship leader Lewis Hamil­ton was 0.70sec back in third and his Mercedes team­mate Valt­teri Bot­tas fourth. It was a dis­ap­point­ing evening ses­sion for Fer­rari, who were ex­pected to be suited to the 5km street cir­cuit.

Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, who is sec- ond in the ti­tle race, was 11th best and team­mate Kimi Raikko­nen was ninth.

Vet­tel, how­ever, set his time us­ing a slower tyre com­pound in P2. In P1, he was se­cond to Ricciardo, Ver­stap­pen was third and Hamil­ton fourth.

“There is a lot to work on,” Raikko­nen said

Ricciardo ar­rived in Sin­ga­pore with six podium places in the past nine races. DID RICCIARDO TAKE POLE PO­SI­TION OVERNIGHT? COURI­ER­MAIL.COM.AU/SPORT

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