Sebastian Vettel completed his dominance of Friday Practice at the Singapore Grand Prix after outpacing McLaren’s Jenson Button on the super-soft tyres while Lewis Hamilton made a mistake on his quickest lap.
There was no repeat of the tricky conditions which greeted the drivers before first practice, enabling them to get up to speed immediately with Button into the 1:50s on his second flying lap, already quicker than he’d managed earlier in the evening. Hamilton had been comfortably faster than his teammate in that session and established early superiority when he took to the racetrack, clocking a 1:50.561 to lead by a quarter of a second. Sebastian Vettel’s first run produced a 1:50.497 but Hamilton hadn’t finished on the soft tyres and improved to a 1:50.074 before pitting.
With half an hour gone, the first option tyre runs began but Bruno Senna’s was over a little too quickly for his liking. The Brazilian made contact with the wall on the outside of turn 19, damaging his left rear suspension, and spinning to a halt in the middle of turn 20. Not only had he ruined his own run, but a number of others were caught out too as the red flags were thrown to clear the stricken FW34.
Once the circuit was clear, Felipe Massa went straight out on super-softs and jumped straight to the top of the timesheets with a 1:50.039 but Lewis Hamilton was flying behind him, a second quicker two sectors into his lap. The Briton did indeed go fastest by 0.953s, a time made all the more impressive given the fact it included a wild slide through the final corner.
That moment would prevent him from finishing the session on top though as Mark Webber dropped in to the 1:48s, a tenth ahead of Hamilton, while Fernando Alonso showed the potential of the Ferrari with a 1:48.896. Jenson Button was next to show his and McLaren’s hand with a 1:48.651 with the fastest time in all three sectors but a superb run through the final sequence of corners saw Sebastian Vettel go three tenths quicker than him, rounding off a morale boosting day for the world champion.
Alonso, Webber and Hamilton completed the top five with the Force Indias continuing to show prodigious pace in sixth and seventh, Paul Di Resta edging out Nico Hulkenberg by four hundredths of a second. Mercedes put in an improved display with Nico Rosberg eighth quickest while Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten. Lotus didn’t have the best of nights with the Frenchman 1.8s down on Vettel while Kimi Raikkonen, twelfth fastest behind Michael Schumacher, had to cut his race simulation short with a hydraulics problem.