Vettel on top in FP3 as Mercedes struggle


Sebastian Vettel led the way in final practice ahead of qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix, while the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS duo struggled for pace on Saturday.

Vettel set the pace with a 1m45.682s on the Supersoft Pirelli tyres, 0.450s clear of Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen as the Italian team put themselves on top of the pile and announced themselves as favourites for pole position.

Friday evening pacesetter Daniil Kvyat ended third fastest ahead of Infiniti Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in fourth, but both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg struggled in their Mercedes, ending fifth and sixth during the session, 1.120s and 1.541s adrift of Vettel’s time.

As disappointed as the Mercedes team would be, Fernando Alonso of McLaren-Honda will be far from unhappy with his performance in FP3, ending up seventh just 0.014s behind Rosberg.

Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen continued to set times inside the top ten on Saturday for Scuderia Toro Rosso, with the Spaniard getting the best of the Dutchman on this occasion, although both drivers had small offs during the session, both at turn seven.

Marcus Ericsson brought the upgraded Sauber into the top ten for the first time this weekend, albeit in tenth, but ahead of Williams Martini Racing’s Valtteri Bottas, with the Grove team continuing to struggle for pace in Singapore; team-mate Felipe Massa was fourteenth quickest.

In between the two Williams drivers were Nico Hulkenberg in the leading Sahara Force India and the second McLaren of Jenson Button, while the leading Lotus of Pastor Maldonado was fifteenth, ahead of Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean and Felipe Nasr.

The two Manor F1 Team drivers brought up the rear, with Alexander Rossi ahead of Will Stevens by 2.705s, but expect that battle to be much closer during qualifying later. Both Rossi and Stevens will take a five-place grid penalty for gearbox changes, but this is unlikely to alter the grid, as the team are unlikely to challenge for the back row anyway.

Singapore Free Practice 3 Times

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME
15Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m45.682s
27Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m46.132s
326Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m46.167s
43Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m46.359s
544Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m46.802s
66Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m47.223s
714Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m47.237s
855Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m47.301s
933Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m47.464s
109Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m47.568s
1177Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m47.587s
1227Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m47.640s
1322Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m47.715s
1419Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m47.733s
1513Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m47.817s
1611Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m48.002s
178Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m48.116s
1812Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m48.932s
1953Alexander RossiUSAManor-Ferrari1m52.588s
2028Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m55.293s