Report: A tough qualifying session, but still “a lot yet to play for”

Published on
01 Oct 2022
Est. reading time
3 Min

Alex will line up P19 with Nicky in P20 for the Singapore Grand Prix

Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi will start from the back of the grid for the Singapore Grand Prix following a tough qualifying session in drying conditions.
After a reduced FP3 that saw just half an hour of wet running, the rain dissipated ahead of qualifying but the Marina Bay Street Circuit remained saturated enough to ensure intermediate tyre running for the opening stages.
As is often the case in these conditions, the times tumbled lap after lap and when our duo boxed for fresh intermediates, they found themselves in P16 and P17 respectively.
Although their penultimate push laps brought improvement, it wasn’t enough to elevate them out of the drop zone before both bailed on their final push laps.
Our Singapore GP qualifying result
“It was a tricky qualifying session today,” Alex summarised, adding: “The wet normally calms things down, however, this track is so hot and the tyres are so hot, so it’s difficult to manage the tyres.
“We were quite hard on our tyres and struggled with overheating, as well as with downforce, and when the track is drying out on wet tyres, it’s tough not to slide everywhere.
“Definitely a frustrating qualifying, however, I think our long run pace in FP2 was actually pretty reasonable, so we’ll figure out a way to get into that pace again for the race.
“I’m feeling as ready as I can be for tomorrow so let’s see what we can do.”
Nicky continued our reaction by saying: “We’re struggling with pace so far this weekend in both the dry and wet conditions.
“Coming into this weekend we knew that it was going to be difficult for us as a team with the track being one of the least suited to our package.
“We were hoping the rain was going to make a bit of a difference today as it has in the past.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t getting the correct feelings and responses in the car that we know we need to have to be competitive in the wet.
“Taking the time sheets away it’s still an exciting track to drive in both conditions. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and look to capitalise on any opportunities.”
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Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, completed our reaction by rounding up Saturday's events, sharing: “We don’t get too much wet running in Singapore, but today we had 2 very different wet sessions.
“Although the heavy rain stopped quite early, the track didn’t dry enough for slicks for a long-time, making the management of the intermediate tyres tricky.
“We were reasonably happy in FP3 but in the drier conditions of Q1, we struggled more. Both cars made pit stops for new inters and this was probably the right choice for us, but we couldn’t complete 2 laps on the new sets without overheating the tyres.
“We hoped that the conditions might give us an opportunity this evening, but we were unable to find a suitable differentiator today.
“The weather could still be an issue tomorrow and we have a good set of tyres available to cover most eventualities.
“The race is always long and gruelling at Marina Bay and so there is a lot yet to play for this weekend and that will be our main focus tonight.”
In a session majorly disrupted by rain, Jamie Chadwick finished P8 in W Series qualifying and will be on maximum attack in tomorrow’s race, hoping to clinch her third successive title.
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