• Singapore Grand Prix - FP2

Vettel quickest again in FP2

ESPN Staff
September 21, 2012
Job done: Sebastian Vettel was quickest in both sessions on Friday © Press Association

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of FP2 in Singapore as once again he and Lewis Hamilton looked the men to beat in practice.

Hamilton and Vettel were both immediately quickest in the opening half hour of the session as times were set on softs, and when the field switched to supersofts Vettel was the last of the front runners to set a time and was quickest with a 1:48.340. That left him 0.311s clear of Jenson Button and over half a second ahead of Fernando Alonso.

It was Button's team-mate Hamilton who would have been Vettel's closest challenger, however, as he was set to set a time considerably quicker before he ran wide in the final two corners and lost a lot of time, eventually ending up 0.7s slower than the pace-setting Red Bull. Mark Webber was also ahead of Hamilton with a 1:48.964 as Red Bull displayed improved pace on the high downforce circuit.

The two Force India's were competitive with Paul di Resta sixth quickest and Nico Hulkenberg seventh - both with a second of Vettel's time - and ahead of Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean.

Bruno Senna caused a red flag just before the halfway mark of the session when he got too close to the wall on the exit of turn 19 and broke his left rear suspension. The car then snaked up the road before coming to a rest on the apex of turn 20. Marshals attempted to push the car away but the damage meant a mobile crane was required and the session was red flagged for five minutes.

The incident highlighted why there has been a safety car in each race so far in Singapore, displaying just how difficult it is to remove a stricken car from the circuit quickly and safely.

A number of other drivers made smaller errors - with the likes of Sergio Perez running wide at turn 14 and just stopping short of the barrier - but the most spectacular was Kamui Kobayashi, who spun in turn 18 and somehow managed to avoid the wall. He then allowed the car to roll back under the grandstand to turn 19 before spinning round again to continue.

While competition at the front appears close between Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, there is an interesting battle developing at the back of the grid as Marussia looks to be strong against Caterham. Timo Glock was 0.4s quicker than the fastest Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen, while Charles Pic also outpaced Vitaly Petrov.

© Press Association