Friday’s first practice session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit had a long delay, thanks to loose plastic curbing along the track. The session ended up being cut down to an hour, as crews worked to fix the loose curbs around a couple turns. Problems continued into the second practice session,
The race organizers will be working overnight to fix curbing overnight, and the plan is as follows:
Turns 3 and 7: Curbing removed, a white line will be painted instead. Drivers will be instructed not to cross it.
Turns 10 and 13: Curbing will be fixed and will hopefully provide no further issues.
Turn 14: Curbing removed entirely.
Onto the practice itself! Lewis Hamilton topped the time charts in the first session, 1:48.599. Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, and Jenson Button were the next four quickest in the session. Beyond the issues with the curbs, Heikki Kovalainen’s car caught on fire. This time he did not put it out himself, sadly.
Mark Webber busted his front wing on Timo Glock’s car as he tried to pass the slower driver around the track.
Sebastian Vettel was the quickest driver in the second practice session, completing a lap around the track in 1:47.375, almost three-quarters of a second over teammate Mark Webber, who finished fifth. This time around, Vettel was the one who found Timo Glock to be in the way, but managed to not damage anything.
Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, and Felipe Massa took spots 2, 3, and 4, respectively.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, who sat out the first session for Narain Karthikeyan, finished last, and still has to start 29th on Sunday.
Both Sebastien Buemi and Michael Schumacher got cozy with the walls around the track, although Schumacher escaped any damage. Buemi managed to destroy his suspension. His teammate, Jaime Alguersuari, had to sit out most of the session with a mechanical problem. Toro Rosso did not have a very good day, as they “broke curfew” when Franz Tost showed up too early in the afternoon. Seriously. Instead of the usual overnight hours, curfew is 9am-3pm in Singapore.
Kamui Kobayashi took his Sauber flying, to round out the eventful day for everyone.