Red Bull have made a statement early by winning the first Free Practice session at the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore, setting the pace for the weekend early-on on Friday with a Daniel Ricciardo-led one-two.
It was very unclear who had the quickest package for the first half of FP1. Ferrari were clearly not practising one-lap pace as Kimi Raikkonen was as far down as P15, with Sebastian Vettel also down in P7, despite both Ferrari drivers running on the hypersofts, the softest compound available. Mercedes had the lead in this stage.
However, when Red Bull and Ferrari pumped the gas, Mercedes was nowhere to be seen. Raikkonen and Vettel were a full second quicker than the Germans when they did their hot laps in their second runs. Then, Red Bull had their say. Daniel Ricciardo took P1 with a 1:39.711, closely followed by his teammate Max Verstappen in P2. Vettel and Raikkonen followed respectively, but it was Nico Hülkenberg in P5, rather than a Mercedes.
The Silver Arrows were running a long-run on soft tyres, staying out for very long stints to gather data for Sunday's race, in which they'll likely struggle to get near a victory. They were a second and a half off the pace, which is more than it will be in tomorrow's qualifying, but it's concerning nonetheless.
The session ended with Charles Leclerc making, for the lack of a better term, a rookie mistake. The Monegasque clipped the wall hard on the apex of a turn and broke his suspension. He immediately apologized to his team, but this means the Sauber mechanics might have to skip lunch to get the rookie's car fixed for FP2. If Lance Stroll did that, he'd get slandered for it...
We'll be back live for FP2 later today, we'll see you then!