Daniel Ricciardo set a new track record for the Singapore Grand Prix circuit as he headed the first practice session of the weekend.
The Red Bull driver set a best lap time of 1’42.489 which was just under a tenth of a second quicker than last year’s record-setting pole position time by Nico Rosberg.
Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen were just a tenth of a second slower. The quickest Mercedes was that of championship leader Lewis Hamilton who was four-tenths of a second behind in fourth place.
Hamilton briefly ran into an escape road at turn 14 near the end of the session. Team mate Valtteri Bottas complained on the radio that his car’s rear was “un-driveable” and ended up with the sixth fastest time.
The two W08s were separated by Sergio Perez, who edged Bottas by a hundredth of a second in his Force India.
Fernando Alonso set the eighth-fastest time for McLaren but again experienced a problem with power delivered from his Honda engine. He added to the mounting speculation surrounding the team by pointing out “for info, we could be P1” at one stage.
The top ten was completed by Nico Hulkenberg and Daniil Kvyat. The latter was partnered for this session by newcomer Sean Gelael, who finished over three seconds slower than the team’s regular driver.