Singapore GP: Sebastian Vettel stays on top in second Friday practice
|By Simon Strang||Friday, September 21st 2012, 15:02 GMT|
Sebastian Vettel emphasised his FP1 pace in Singapore by going fastest again in the second free practice session at Marina Bay.
The world champion, who has endured a tough sequence of grand prix weekends in terms of pace recently broken only by his attrition-assisted second place in Belgium, looked rapid throughout Friday.
In the end Vettel recorded a time more than three tenths faster than his nearest rival - Jenson Button's McLaren.
Fernando Alonso was third quickest for Ferrari ahead of Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Force India's impressive Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg.
The first of the updated Mercedes W03s was eighth fastest in the hands of Nico Rosberg, while Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean completed the top ten.
The second session, which ran entirely under dry conditions, burst into life quickly and it was the two McLarens of Hamilton and Button that set the early pace on the soft tyres.
But just as in the first session, it was Vettel and Hamilton that began trading times at the top of the list.
This continued until Bruno Senna lightly brushed his Williams against the outside wall at Turn 19. The incident may have been small, but the stranded car proved difficult to remove and necessitated a short red-flag period.
When the session resumed, first Massa, and then Hamilton switched to the super-soft option tyre and shot ahead of Vettel and the rest.
The Englishman's 1m49.086s set the tone for what was to follow as the rest of the frontrunners switched to their option programmes.
That prompted Webber to move to the front in the sister Red Bull car, only until Alonso's 1m48.896s bumped the Aussie down. Both were then dropped by Button's 1m48.651, before Vettel settled the matter for good with a 1m48.340s.
The session then settled down into the usual game of cat and mouse as teams tried to evaluate their long run pace while at the same time masking it from their rivals.
Of the frontrunners, Hamilton and Raikkonen both looked rapid on heavy fuel, while Red Bull seemed happy with degradation level of Vettel's super-softs.
Besides Senna's problem, there were no major incidents though once again several drivers rocked over the kerbs at Turn 10 and Perez (15th) ran on at Turn 4 without hitting anything.
The Mexican's Sauber team-mate Kamui Kobayashi (16th) had a similar experience at Turn 1 and then spun at Turn 19 right at the flag drop.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m48.340 27 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m48.651s + 0.311 24 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m48.896s + 0.556 26 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m48.964s + 0.624 26 5. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m49.086s + 0.746 28 6. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m49.300s + 0.960 30 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m49.339s + 0.999 31 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.790s + 1.450 32 9. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m50.039s + 1.699 28 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m50.161s + 1.821 23 11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m50.263s + 1.923 23 12. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m50.345s + 2.005 24 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m50.636s + 2.296 32 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m50.791s + 2.451 26 15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.122s + 2.782 28 16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.450s + 3.110 21 17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m51.452s + 3.112 11 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m52.00$s + 3.669 31 19. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m52.218s + 3.878 29 20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m52.576s + 4.236 27 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m52.863s + 4.523 27 22. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m52.936s + 4.596 25 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m54.448s + 6.108 25 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m54.514s + 6.174 30 All Timing Unofficial