Red Bull’s rivals believe that is little they can do to catch Sebastian Vettel in the Singapore Grand Prix after the Formula 1 champion’s Friday practice dominance.
Vettel was one second faster than Nico Rosberg in the fastest non-Red Bull during the quicker second session. Asked if he thought the gap to Red Bull would close, fourth-fastest Lewis Hamilton replied: “I think it will reduce slightly perhaps, but I might be wrong. As always every Friday night we have to try to pull a miracle out of nowhere.”
Kimi Raikkonen believes his Lotus is more competitive than his eighth place on Friday suggests, but that Red Bull is out of reach.
“There was some traffic on the first lap so I am not worried by it,” he said of his own position. “[Red Bull] were so much faster than anybody else.
“I am sure we can do much better, but I don’t think we can match Red Bull because there is no chance.”
Vettel remained adamant that Mercedes in particular would be a pole threat.
“Maybe they didn’t have the cleanest lap but we expect Mercedes to be very strong, especially in qualifying form, tomorrow,” he said. “I think [the gap] is a bit of a surprise. I got a good lap to be honest, it was a bit surprise how much I could improve from the medium to the super-soft, so it is not completely representative.”
Teammate Mark Webber was 0.6sec slower than Vettel but 0.4sec clear of the rest.
“We can’t focus on the other guys,” he said. “If they are in trouble in our mirrors on Sunday night then it is a bonus, but if they are not it won’t be a surprise.”