• Singapore Grand Prix - FP2

Vettel on top in Singapore

ESPNF1 Staff
September 23, 2011

Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso to the fastest time of the second practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel's time of 1:46.374 was just 0.201s quicker than Alonso at the end of a busy evening as teams made up for the time lost during the first session. Lewis Hamilton was third quickest but over 0.7s off the pace following a difficult session for McLaren, who also saw Jenson Button abandon his car without having set a time on supersoft tyres.

The session started with a host of cars taking to the track immediately and staying out to carry out meaningful running having lost over half an hour in FP1 due to loose kerbs and red flags. There had been further changes at the FIA's request, with the apex kerb at turn 13 removed, allowing drivers to take a tighter line to the wall.

As the track quickly rubbered in, so the lap times dropped, with Vettel immediately beating Hamilton's headline time from the earlier session. Hamilton was confined to the garage for the first half hour as mechanics worked on his car, but rejoined in time for the meaningful supersoft tyre running.

One driver not so lucky was his team-mate Jenson Button, who locked up at turn 14 and went straight on. He stopped short of the barrier but couldn't engage reverse gear to move away and had to abandon his car on the track, ending his running after just 10 laps with more than 50 minutes still to go.

Drivers were pushing hard in search of full performance from the option tyre, with both Massa and Kobayashi brushing the wall before Buemi pushed his luck too far and ripped the right front wheel off his Toro Rosso exiting turn 21. His team-mate Jaime Alguersuari had a similarly frustrating time as his night's work was ended soon after by a mechanical problem which could have been caused by him launching the car over the kerb at turn 10.

Vettel set the fastest time before Alonso closed the gap on his flying lap. All eyes were then on Hamilton to see if he could challenge the pair for one-lap pace, but he twice had to abort his run due to incorrect settings or traffic, and his fastest time eventually came on his fourth lap, suggesting there is more to come from the McLaren.

Only Felipe Massa in fourth and Mark Webber in fifth could get within a second of Vettel, as Michael Schumacher ended up over two seconds slower in sixth place, despite contact with the barrier at turn three. It was a tough session for his team-mate Nico Rosberg who ended up 15th.

Paul di Resta suffered with a hydraulic problem and only managed to get out on the option tyre right at the end of the session, setting the 13th quickest time, nearly four seconds off the pace. The field spread was large once again, and Jerome d'Ambrosio and the HRTs look vulnerable to the 107% rule having set times over eight seconds slower than Vettel.

As the session drew to a close the teams carried out heavy fuel runs, and Ferrari had the edge over Red Bull on every lap, raising the prospect of a competitive race on Sunday.