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Max Verstappen set the fastest time in final practice in Singapore

"We didn't expect to be this competitive, but it all looks very good".

Red Bull had identified the race in Singapore as one of its best opportunities to challenge Ferrari and Mercedes this season, and so took power unit penalties in Italy to give itself a better chance of success.

The four-time world champion's most impressive finish to a season came in 2013, when he set an F1 record that still stands today - winning nine consecutive races to close the season.

Not a positive, especially when Mercedes' other young driver, Esteban Ocon is having a brilliant first full season in F1, and is securing race finishes which reflect his talent.

Not a regular on the list due to his point scoring consistency, but for the first time at Force India, Sergio Perez is feeling the heat. "It was a tricky session for us".

It really is a case of what could have been a so much better result.

"I was very lucky I could continue". We had some new parts on the auto and everything appears to be working well.

"The vehicle is constantly improving and if we went back to Hungary, for example, maybe we would be in a better position having already been there".

"We made some progress from this morning".

"I think the learning from these two weeks should hopefully put us in a better position for Singapore", he told reporters.

"Now, I don't think that's a pattern you can't break". I go with what we have, what I'll feel on the track and how the auto performs. "Tomorrow was another day".

But if things don't improve for Ricciardo at Red Bull, we could be seeing him behind the wheel of a new team in 2019. It's not the first Friday we've struggled.

Kimi Raikkonen: "Overall it was just a hard day. That's the main thing we need to work on so that I can build up my level of confidence". Vettel expressed how he's not concerned about the difference in pace between the teams, and he emphasised the point that Mercedes should not hold such an advantage at any other track for the rest of the season. "We are developing ours so I'm not so fussed about what they doing".

But Singapore is probably the track that most closely fits that bill, even if the headline results in that period aren't almost as bad as you might expect.

"I've let them know I'm not happy, just like after the previous DNF, but it's only getting worse of course".

While he is committed to Red Bull until the end of 2018, the always-smiling Australian hinted Red Bull must prove its championship credentials if it wants to ensure he stays with the team beyond next year. "This is still regardless of if that is the case - the others potentially have a little bit more downforce - whatever it is, we have worked as hard we can to understand the vehicle, and we come here with full attack".

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