/ 25 September 2010

Vettel streets ahead in final Singapore practice

Sebastian Vettel continued to set the pace at the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday, the German Red Bull driver topping the final practice timesheets on a damp Marina Bay circuit.

Vettel set the fastest time in Friday practice and dominated proceedings ahead of qualifying with a one minute 48,028 second lap under the floodlights in downtown Singapore.

Spain’s Fernando Alonso, who won the scandal-tainted inaugural race in 2008, felt at home on the demanding circuit and was second fastest in his Ferrari and edged out McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Felipe Massa was next in the second Ferrari, ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and championship leader Mark Webber in the other Red Bull as wet patches left over from an afternoon downpour forced drivers to adopt a conservative approach.

McLaren’s Jenson Button, the reigning world champion and one of five drivers still in with a realistic chance of claiming the world title with five races remaining, laboured down in 13th place. He was more than two seconds adrift of Vettel.

Williams also built on Rubens Barrichello’s sixth place on Friday with teammate Nico Huelkenberg clocking the seventh fastest time on Saturday, although the German will lose five places on the starting grid for an unscheduled gearbox change. – Reuters