Formula 1 News

Vettel fastest in wet Singapore practice

The Red Bull driver set the pace and was followed by both McLaren of Hamilton and Button. Again, the British team seems to be the strongest out there.
Friday, September 21, 2012

SINGAPORE, Sept 21, 2012 (AFP) - Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel set the early pace at the Singapore Grand Prix as he timed quickest in a damp first free practice session on Friday.

Two hours after a downpour, the Red Bull driver from Germany clocked 1min 50.566sec on the drying street circuit to overhaul McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by 0.049sec.

Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button was third quickest ahead of Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado and Red Bull's Australian pilot, Mark Webber.

Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta, Daniel Ricciardo and Sauber's Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 after the 90-minute session held in high humidity as dusk fell over the floodlit, downtown course.

In one of the few untoward incidents, Maldonado locked up a front wheel as he missed a sharp left-hander and ended up in a run-off area.

Ma Qinghua, who became the first Chinese driver to take part in Formula One during practice for this month's Italian Grand Prix, finished slowest of the session for HRT.

With seven races to go, Alonso leads the standings by 37 points ahead of Hamilton, who has won two of the last three races. Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel, bidding for a third straight title, are both close behind.

Pos Driver Team Times Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:50.566 24
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:50.615 0.049 15
3 Jenson Button McLaren 1:51.459 0.893 17
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:51.525 0.959 20
5 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:51.576 1.010 20
6 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:51.655 1.089 19
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:51.658 1.092 24
8 Paul di Resta Force India 1:51.943 1.377 21
9 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:52.275 1.709 24
10 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:52.296 1.730 19
11 Bruno Senna Williams 1:52.629 2.063 25
12 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus F1 1:52.716 2.150 16
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:52.839 2.273 23
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:52.986 2.420 21
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 1:53.028 2.462 20
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:53.080 2.514 17
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:53.189 2.623 25
18 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:53.227 2.661 26
19 Timo Glock Marussia 1:54.908 4.342 20
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:55.091 4.525 16
21 Charles Pic Marussia 1:55.335 4.769 22
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:55.760 5.194 22
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:56.656 6.090 21
24 Qing Hua Ma HRT 1:58.053 7.487 20

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F1 Standings

Drivers
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1 Nico Rosberg 165
2 Lewis Hamilton 161
3 Daniel Ricciardo 98
4 Fernando Alonso 87
5 Valtteri Bottas 73
6 Sebastian Vettel 70
1 Mercedes 326
2 Red Bull Racing 168
3 Ferrari 106
4 Williams F1 103
5 Sahara Force India 91
6 McLaren 90

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