Vettel holds off Grosjean in practice

Vettel holds off Grosjean in practice

Formula 1

Vettel holds off Grosjean in practice


Sebastian Vettel was fastest again in final practice ahead of Singapore Grand Prix qualifying, but Romain Grosjean and Lotus stepped up to pressure Red Bull.

There were hints throughout the session that Red Bull’s rivals had reduced the advantage it held at the end of Friday. Red Bull again held a 1-2 during the main running on the harder Pirellis. This time Mark Webber turned the tables on Vettel after their Friday battle as his 1m46.220s lap beat the German by 0.079 of a second.

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was just 0.2sec slower, a notable improvement on practice two.

Again there were substantial pace improvements on the super-soft tire, with a massive leap from Grosjean putting the Lotus on top with a 1m44.364s.

Vettel managed to still pip that with a 1m44.173s, 0.191sec faster, while Webber hit traffic on super-softs and was only fourth behind Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton ended the hour in fifth ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. Alonso was followed by the man McLaren would perhaps like to oust in his favor next year: Sergio Perez.

Nico Hulkenberg gave Sauber another boost with eighth place, with Jenson Button and Felipe Massa completing the top 10.

While Grosjean starred, his Lotus teammate Kimi Raikkonen could only manage 12th with a disappointing super-soft attempt.

                                                          Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps 1.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m44.173s           15          2.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m44.364s  +0.191s  16          3.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m44.741s  +0.568s  18          4.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m44.906s  +0.733s  14          5.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m44.921s  +0.748s  14          6.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m45.257s  +1.084s  13          7.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m45.500s  +1.327s  12          8.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m45.876s  +1.703s  19          9.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m45.890s  +1.717s  13         10.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m45.935s  +1.762s  13         11.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m46.084s  +1.911s  15         12.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m46.147s  +1.974s  13         13.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m46.338s  +2.165s  17         14.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m46.358s  +2.185s  16         15.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m46.660s  +2.487s  17         16.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m46.879s  +2.706s  16         17.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m46.893s  +2.720s  13         18.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m47.249s  +3.076s  19         19.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m48.931s  +4.758s  17         20.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m49.037s  +4.864s  18         21.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m49.182s  +5.009s  21         22.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m49.982s  +5.809s  20