Singapore GP Practice One: Valtteri Bottas crashes, Max Verstappen fastest
Sessions end early for Bottas after crash and Leclerc after gearbox glitch; Verstappen just ahead of Vettel at head of timesheet, with Hamilton third on slower tyres
By James Galloway in Singapore
Last Updated: 20/09/19 6:54pm
Max Verstappen set the pace for Red Bull, but Valtteri Bottas crashed for Mercedes, as the Singapore GP got off to an eventful start in Practice One.
Bottas lost control of his car and hit the street circuit's barriers entering Turn 19 midway through the session, doing significant damage to the left-front of his Mercedes.
The Finn, second in the world championship to Hamilton, missed the rest of the opening running as a result.
"I just lost the rear, maybe some overheating," Bottas told Sky Sports. "My bad."
His Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, added: "The lap was a bit messy already but it's always difficult to get the right level of balance right between pushing and taking it easy.
Verstappen is strongly tipped to challenge Mercedes this weekend and the Dutchman made a fine start to proceedings, with his best lap of 1:40.259 just under two tenths of a second faster than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.
But Mercedes did not run the fastest tyres and so Lewis Hamilton's third-fastest time - set on the hardest compound available - was effectively the quickest of the session given he was just 0.666s adrift. Bottas stayed fourth.
"I think they are very much going to be the favourites here," admitted Red Bull boss Christian Horner. "But we've got a competitive car and hopefully we can take the fight to them."
Ferrari trialed a new nose and floor in search of downforce, but Charles Leclerc's session was ended early by a gearbox fault. The Monegasque driver has won the last two races but Ferrari are expecting a tougher weekend on a track that does not play to their 2019 car's strengths.
Alex Albon, driving the challenging Marina Bay circuit for the first time, was fifth in the second Red Bull, ahead of Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.
McLaren pair Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris rounded out the top eight, with the Toro Rosso drivers completing the top 10.
Singapore GP Practice One Timesheet
|1) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:40.259|
|2) Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+0.167|
|3) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.666|
|4) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+1.077|
|5) Alexander Albon||Red Bull||+1.208|
|6) Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+1.553|
|7) Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+1.707|
|8) Lando Norris||McLaren||+1.921|
|9) Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+2.046|
|10) Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||+2.118|
|11) Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+2.268|
|12) Romain Grosjean||Haas||+2.371|
|13) Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+2.418|
|14) Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+2.527|
|15) Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+2.532|
|16) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+2.891|
|17) Robert Kubica||Williams||+3.077|
|18) Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+3.110|
|19) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+3.359|
|20) George Russell||Williams||+3.734|