QUICKEST IN SINGAPORE: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time during the second practice session ahead of the 2014 SingaporeGP at the Marina Bay City Circuit. Image: AP/ Wong Maye-E
SINGAPORE — Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in practice ahead of the 2014 Singapore GP on Friday (Sept 19), while team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg and world champion Sebastian Vettel suffered setbacks.
Hamilton's best time of 1min47.490 at the Marina Bay circuit was a tenth faster than Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was also strong in session one when he topped the time sheets.
Rosberg's hopes of surpassing his teammate were ruined when his lap on fresh super-soft tires had to be aborted due to a red flag caused by Lotus' Pastor Maldonado's heavy collision with a barrier. Rosberg was 13th fastest.
VETTEL SUFFERS ENGINE WOES
Vettel came out for only the last eight minutes of the second session after an engine failure in his Red Bull at the end of the first. Vettel , who has won the past three Singapore races, still had enough time to vault up to fifth on the timesheets.
However, his long absence cost him valuable long-run race preparation. While the Renault engine that failed was one that was earmarked for practice sessions rather than in qualifying and the race, it did reduce the team's options to juggle its power-plants over the final races of the season.
Having already used up his allowed five race engines this season, Vettel's next change will trigger a 10-place grid penalty.
His team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who is the only realistic challenger to the Mercedes pair for the drivers' championship, was third fastest, and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen fourth.
The competitive showing by Ferrari was a tonic after a dire performance in their home race at Monza in the previous grand prix, which precipitated the exit of long-time Ferrari company chief Luca di Montezemolo.
It also indicated they were right up with Red Bull as the main threat to Mercedes this weekend.
While Ferrari was surprisingly strong, Williams would be disappointed with its lap times, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas down in 17th and 18th, as they struggled on the twisty circuit which negates their straight-line speed.
2014 Singapore GP at the Marina Bay circuit
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min47.490
2 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min47.623
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min47.790
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min48.031
5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min48.041
6 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min48.358
7 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min48.435
8 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min48.653
9 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min48.751
10 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 1min48.770
11 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min48.800
12 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min49.062
13 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min49.075
14 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min49.139
15 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber 1min49.170
16 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min49.290
17 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 1min49.361
18 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min49.971
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 1min50.612
20 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min51.558
21 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham 1min52.075
22 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham 1min52.936
First free-practice times ahead of the 2014 Singapore F1 GP
1 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min49.056
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min49.178
3 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min49.205
4 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min49.874
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min50.122
6 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min50.539
7 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min50.783
8 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min50.922
9 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 1min50.990
10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min51.131
11 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min51.217
12 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min51.604
13 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 1min51.953
14 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min52.125
15 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams1min52.146
16 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min52.171
17 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber 1min52.237
18 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min52.906
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 1min54.113
20 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham 1min54.475
21 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham 1min54.607
22 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min55.170
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Singapore GP