• Singapore Grand Prix - FP2

Vettel and Red Bull dominate FP2

ESPN Staff
September 20, 2013
Sebastian Vettel was the fastest driver in Friday practice © Getty Images
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Red Bull dominated the second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel finished the session comfortably faster than the rest of the field.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton appeared to be in the mix in the first session, but once the sun had set and the spotlights took over, Vettel was in a class of his own. His best time on the super-soft tyres was 0.604s faster than team-mate Mark Webber, who was his closest rival.

Vettel's lap looked immaculate while Webber clobbered the wall on the exit of Turn 21 and Lewis Hamilton got stuck in traffic on his first attempt on super-soft tyres. Nevertheless, Vettel's advantage stood at over a second to the fastest Mercedes, which is a healthy margin even if Nico Rosberg was running heavier fuel.

Romain Grosjean was fifth fastest despite another session riddled with car issues. He started the session with a brake problem and finished it by juddering to halt in his pit box with a problem at the rear of his car. He only managed 18 laps in the intervening period but did set a respectable time of 1:45.411. Team principal Eric Boulllier said the problems are "a concern but should be fixed by tomorrow".

Fernando Alonso's fastest time will make grim reading at Ferrari as he finished the session 1.442s off the lead Red Bull. As usual his race pace looked closer to Vettel's, but if he starts three rows behind the Red Bull it is unlikely to count for much come Sunday's chequered flag.

Jenson Button was seventh fastest in his McLaren and a fraction of a second quicker than Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. He may have been 1.5s off Vettel, but compared to the other front-running cars McLaren looks as if it has made progress and he may have the opportunity to break into the top six in qualifying with a clean lap. Sergio Perez backed up the McLaren's improved pace with the 10th fastest time behind Adrian Sutil, who will be pleased to make the top 10 in a session after Force India's recent struggles.

Raikkonen didn't appear to get a clear lap in on the super-soft tyres but did set some promising times on longer runs that could see him in contention for a podium if he can qualify high enough up the grid.

It was another disappointing session for Felipe Massa, who could only manage the 15th fastest time in his Ferrari and was a whopping 2.621s off the pace of Vettel. Aside from the Marussias and Caterhams, which were over five seconds off the top, the only drivers behind Massa were Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber and the two Williams, which appeared to be struggling more than ever.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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