Sebastian Vettel’s relentless dominance of Formula One looks set to continue this weekend in Singapore after the world champion outclassed the rest of the field on Friday night at Marina Bay. Vettel was six tenths clear of Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and a full second ahead of any other make of car with Nico Rosberg third fastest for Mercedes.
The session began with optimism for the Silver Arrows after Lewis Hamilton’s performance earlier in the evening but Red Bull brought them back down to earth with a bump within the first ten minutes as Vettel clocked a 1:46.853, already faster than Lewis’ earlier benchmark.
The Red Bull juggernaut rolled on as Webber improved to a 1:46.489 but the change to the supersoft tyres brought an even bigger leap forward as Vettel found over two seconds on the red-marked rubber, setting a 1:44.249. Webber’s gain was smaller, seeing him fall six tenths behind, although part of that could be attributed to an error at turn 21 which saw him clip the concrete wall.
Rosberg was 1.009s adrift in the Mercedes while Hamilton was even further back, trailing by 1.302s. Although the Briton did stay out and find another two tenths, he could only climb above Romain Grosjean to fourth with Fernando Alonso sixth ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button. Kimi Raikkonen ended the night four tenths behind his teammate in eighth with Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez completing the top ten.
Felipe Massa’s tough record in Singapore shows no sign of changing with the Brazilian also tagging the wall on his way to fifteenth while Pastor Maldonado also made contact with the barriers, knocking his Williams’ front wing off at turn thirteen shortly after setting the eighteenth quickest time.