• Singapore Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel fastest again in Singapore practice

ESPN Staff
September 22, 2012
Sebastian Vettel was 0.325s faster than Lewis Hamilton © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel took a clean sweep of all three practice sessions by setting the fastest time in the final hour of running before qualifying.

Vettel looked comfortably quickest throughout the session, and when the lead drivers bolted on super-soft tyres he was 0.325s faster than his nearest competitor Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver's lap was a little bit scrappy, so the true gap might be smaller, but there is no doubt that the Red Bull has a significant advantage in the final sector that Hamilton will struggle to overcome.

Fernando Alonso was third fastest but 0.676s off the pace of Vettel as Ferrari looks to be lacking in one-lap pace compared to its rivals. Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, but both were nearly a second off the pace and they will struggle to play a part in the battle for pole position.

Outside the top three several drivers appeared to be struggling, with Felipe Massa still over 1.5s off the pace in the second Ferrari and both Mercedes struggling to make an impact. Jenson Button and Mark Webber did not get a chance to set a time on the super-soft tyres due to a late red flag caused by Vitaly Petrov hitting the wall.

Sergio Perez and Webber also hit the wall during the session, but both escaped major damage and were able to continue after their cars received a quick check over in the garage. But Petrov's contact at turn 21 ripped his right rear suspension apart and forced him to stop on the entrance to the pit lane causing a red flag.

The early end to the session resulted in a few drivers finishing out of position, but it appears as though it will be a straight fight between McLaren and Red Bull for pole.

Vitaly Petrov brought the session to an early end with his accident © Sutton Images