Vettel stamps authority during second practice in Singapore

By on Friday, September 20, 2013
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time during second practice ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel's time of 1:44.249s was 0.604s clear of team-mate Mark Webber.

The Australian had been eclipsing Vettel during the early runs on prime tyres, but when the option tyres were fitted to the cars it was Vettel who led the way.

Several drivers found huge improvements when switching from the prime to the option tyres. Vettel was among many to cut lap times by over two seconds.

The German was also setting quick and consistent times on high fuel runs.

Webber was fortunate to escape without damage after clouting the wall on the exit of turn 21.

Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth, over a second behind Vettel.

Romain Grosjean set the fifth fastest time despite another session in which the French driver suffered from mechanical issues. Grosjean reported a brake problem on his Lotus E21 and his running was curtailed with 15 minutes of the hour and a half session remaining.

Fernando Alonso managed sixth place in his Ferrari, ahead of Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen.

Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.

Toro Rosso's pace improved on the option tyres relative to their position on the prime compound. Daniel Ricciardo was eleventh with Jean-Eric Vergne in twelfth.

Paul di Resta was thirteenth, with Nico Hulkenberg in fourteenth. Both Sauber drivers had been running in the top 10 early on but were unable to set sufficiently strong times on the option tyres. Hulkenberg suffered a big lock up into the first corner mid-way through the session. Esteban Gutierrez stayed out of trouble but could manage only sixteenth.

Felipe Massa finished the session down in fifteenth place and also hit the wall on the exit of turn 21. Like Webber, he was able to continue on his way.

The only driver to come to serious grief was Williams's Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan ran wide at Turn 13 and hit the barrier on the entry to the Esplanade Drive.

Maldonado's front wing was damaged and he returned to the pits for repairs. He finished in eighteenth place, behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Giedo van der Garde edged out team-mate Charles Pic, with the Marussia drivers narrowly behind; Max Chilton eclipsed his stable mate, Jules Bianchi.

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