Vettel on top again in final practice
|By Mark Glendenning||Saturday, September 25th 2010, 12:06 GMT|
Sebastian Vettel has convincingly come out on top in today's final practice session in Singapore, although his cause was helped by a late yellow flag that prevented his rivals from improving their times.
Vettel made the most of a clear run to post a 1m48.028s in the final minutes, and when HRT's Bruno Senna came to a stop at Turn 18 with just a minute remaining, it became clear that the Red Bull's time would not be beaten.
Senna's spin forced several other frontrunners to abort flying laps, including championship leader Mark Webber (Red Bull) and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, leaving Vettel a full 0.622 seconds clear of second-placed Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.
Vettel had occupied the top of the timing screens for the last 20 minutes of the session, taking the place that had previously been held by Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver finished up third-quickest ahead of Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, and Webber.
The session opened with a track still dotted with damp patches from an earlier shower, meaning that the teams opted to bide their time and wait for the conditions to improve before doing any meaningful running.
Several drivers completed exploratory installation laps on intermediates before switching to slicks, and it was 20 minutes before Virgin's Lucas di Grassi completed the first timed lap of the session.
He was followed shortly afterwards by the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, who then spent the middle part of the session trading places at the top of the timesheets with Renault's Robert Kubica and, briefly, Sebastien Buemi in the second Toro Rosso before Hamilton laid down a marker that stood for several minutes.
All the teams have been spared the worry of last-minute repairs ahead of qualifying, with the only incidents of note being a few harmless spins at the damp Turn 5 and another moment for Senna when his car was out-smarted by the kerbs at the chicane.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m48.028s 15 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m48.650s + 0.622s 16 3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m49.000s + 0.972s 12 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m49.023s + 0.995s 18 5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.056s + 1.028s 17 6. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m49.212s + 1.184s 13 7. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1m49.304s + 1.276s 17 8. Robert Kubica Renault 1m49.520s + 1.492s 16 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m49.916s + 1.888s 15 10. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m49.949s + 1.921s 16 11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m50.040s + 2.012s 15 12. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m50.053s + 2.025s 16 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.060s + 2.032s 12 14. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m50.067s + 2.039s 16 15. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m50.067s + 2.039s 14 16. Tonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1m50.868s + 2.840s 16 17. Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.016s + 2.988s 15 18. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.027s + 2.999s 17 19. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m52.340s + 4.312s 14 20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1m53.146s + 5.118s 15 21. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1m53.297s + 5.269s 15 22. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1m53.681s + 5.653s 17 23. Christian Klien Hispania-Cosworth 1m54.826s + 6.798s 16 24. Bruno Senna Hispania-Cosworth 1m55.367s + 7.339s 16 All timing unofficial