Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Singapore, 2022

Hamilton quickest as Stroll crash interrupted first practice in Singapore

2022 Singapore Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton used soft tyres to top the times during the first Singapore Grand Prix practice session, less than a tenth quicker than Max Verstappen on mediums.

The Mercedes drivers’ best time of a 1’43.033 saw him finish top of the times in a practice session for the first time in 2022, with Verstappen over three tenths quicker than Charles Leclerc, who ended the hour third in the Ferrari.

With the sun still in the process of dropping under the Singapore skyline as the first practice session began, it was a warm and humid start to the weekend with ambient temperatures sitting just above 30 degrees as drivers headed out onto the street circuit for the first time in three years.

After missing the Italian Grand Prix for medical reasons, Alexander Albon took to the track in his Williams and confirmed that he was truly fit and ready to race once again. The early pace was set by the two Red Bulls of Verstappen and Sergio Perez on the medium tyres, with Verstappen’s 1’45.466 acting as the early benchmark.

George Russell brought out the yellow flags briefly after locking up at turn 11 and gently nudging the barriers. Luckily for Mercedes, Russell hit the wall straight on with his front wing, minimising damage to his car and allowing him to quickly reverse out and recover to the pits.

Fernando Alonso used a set of medium tyres to go second quickest, but was still over a second slower than the championship leader. Unfortunately, a gearbox oil leak caused Alpine to abandon Alonso’s run, keeping him in the garage for extended maintenance.

With half an hour of the session gone, drivers began to head out on the soft tyres. Lance Stroll improved to jump into second place, just under a second slower than Verstappen. However the Aston Martin driver then tagged the wall on the exit of turn five, breaking his suspension on the left-rear. Stroll stopped his AMR22 on the track, bringing out a red flag than halted running for around five minutes.

When the session resumed, Carlos Sainz Jnr headed out on soft tyres and used the clear track to improve to third, but ran wide on the exit of the final corner to do so. Team mate Leclerc jumped to second on his first lap on the softs, three tenths off Verstappen’s best, before Lewis Hamilton put in a 1’43.033 to put his Mercedes to the top of the times.

Perez had to abandon a lap in the final sector after reporting losing drive in his Red Bull, but managed to cruise into the pit lane and recover to the garage safely. His team mate Verstappen ran off at turn 16 after a mistake under braking and had to spin his Red Bull around 180 degrees to rejoin the circuit, compromising Esteban Ocon’s lap as the Alpine driver arrived to the scene under yellow flags.

There were no improvements at the top half of the field in the closing minutes, leaving Hamilton on top, just under a tenth of a second faster than Verstappen behind. Leclerc was third fastest, four tenths away from Hamilton’s best. Perez ended the session fourth, with Russell and Sainz behind. Ocon, Stroll, Pierre Gasly and Alonso completed the top 10.

2022 Singapore Grand Prix first practice result

Position Number Driver Team Model Time Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1’43.033 20
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull RB18 1’43.117 0.084 20
3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1’43.435 0.402 17
4 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull RB18 1’43.839 0.806 15
5 63 George Russell Mercedes W13 1’44.066 1.033 21
6 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari F1-75 1’44.138 1.105 24
7 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A522 1’44.736 1.703 24
8 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR22 1’45.221 2.188 12
9 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Red Bull AT03 1’45.258 2.225 24
10 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault A522 1’45.336 2.303 11
11 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR22 1’45.354 2.321 22
12 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes MCL36 1’45.724 2.691 21
13 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C42 1’45.725 2.692 24
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-22 1’46.028 2.995 22
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull AT03 1’46.081 3.048 26
16 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW44 1’46.119 3.086 20
17 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C42 1’46.408 3.375 25
18 47 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari VF-22 1’46.601 3.568 23
19 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL36 1’46.680 3.647 22
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes FW44 1’47.092 4.059 18

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2022 Singapore Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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2 comments on “Hamilton quickest as Stroll crash interrupted first practice in Singapore”

  1. Great news for Lewis fans :) Still hoping he can get a win this year

    1. @zann Except, Max was running on a Medium tyre.

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