The heat, sunset and darkness were all featured during this Friday’s practice sessions at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, where Mercedes seemed to find a new rival on the top: Red Bull.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo claimed P3 during morning’s FP1 to place the team ahead of Ferrari and right behind Mercedes. Nico Rosberg showed a much-needed fast pace in FP1 to top his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
In the Second Practice, it was Daniil Kvyat’s turn to shine, as he surprised leaping to P1 with the fastest lap time of the weekend so far. Mercedes commented 'the field is very competitive and we have a fight on our hands,' shortly after. Hopefully it’s a nice three-way battle up front.
However it wasn’t all happiness for the Bulls. Helmut Marko also confirmed the Renault split, and was very clear in what comes next, "The decision is done. If we don’t have a competitive engine we will leave Formula 1". Speculation has already risen that Volkswagen could buy the team. Will they?
Resuming to track matters - Manor didn’t have their best start this Friday, as both drivers hit the wall. Recently promoted Alexander Rossi, though, shows promise as he finished ahead of Will Stevens in FP2.
And of course there was the Lotus’ situation to give some thought to - as they managed to secure a second adjourment, which leaves them seven days to finalize the Renault deal. Otherwise they could be placed in administration.
FP1 Top 5 Times:
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:47.995
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:48.314
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:48.331
4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:48.494
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:48.785
FP2 Top 5 Times:
1. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:46.142
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:46.181
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:46.256
4. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:46.479
5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:46.487