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2019 Singapore Grand Prix: Hamilton is faster than Verstappen on the first trial day

2019 Singapore Grand Prix: Hamilton is faster than Verstappen on the first trial day

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton achieved the best speed on the first trial day of F1 Singapore on September 20th.

Hamilton reached the fastest-lap after one minute 38,773 seconds in the second test lap (FP2), faster than Max Verstappen (Red Bull team) 0.184 seconds. The third fastest was Sebastian Vettel with 0.818, slower than Hamilton. Fourth to sixth place also has the same team order as the top three. All riders perform best on soft tires.

The achievement at FP2 shows that Mercedes has more chances to win the pole. Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari are the fastest in the low, medium and high-speed corners. But the Marina Bay racetrack has many narrow corners, low speeds and is suitable for the W10.

"I am very happy with this result", Lewis Hamilton said at the press conference after FP2. "It's been a long time since I've been comfortable racing like this. But Red Bull is also very fast at Marina Bay. They're not much slower than us. It's not clear if Red Bull can improve the speed or not, and Mercedes still has to be more progressive".

Verstappen, 21, was also pleased with second place behind Hamilton. "Today is a beautiful day. Because of the cars in front of me when using soft tires, I was only 0.2 seconds faster than when using hard tires. This means the RB15 can achieve better performance in the round. Singapore GP results depend 95% on the qualifying round and I'm excited", he said.

Statistics from Formula1.com show that Hamilton is still likely to win the race, based on speed predictions in the main lap. The bigger challenge for Hamilton is supposed to be a safe car. Ever since F1 came to Singapore in 2008, every year a safe car has appeared. The corners are difficult to adjacent, with high rock margins that make the driver vulnerable.

In FP1, Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) got a baby crab at Turn 19 and hit the wall. Afterward, Alexander Albon braked at Turn 10 but locked his tires into a barricade. Safe vehicles appearing can change the tactics of the team.

Singapore GP qualifying round takes place at 21:00 on September 21th (GMT+8 time).