The key question after second practice is how close would Fernando Alonso have been to the two Red Bulls if he hadn’t gone off during his first lap on super-soft tyres?
Combining their best sector times from the session shows there would have been very little in it.
Tick/untick drivers’ names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom
Alonso’s ‘ultimate lap’ based on his best sector times was around four-tenths of a second shy of Vettel’s.
We can knock a few more tenths off in the expectation that Alonso would have found more time in the third sector.
However remember that Alonso did his soft-tyre lap later in session when the track would have been in better condition – and track evolution is especially pronounced on Singapore’s temporary street circuit.
The likelihood is that on the same tyres at the same time Alonso is still a couple of tenths off the Red Bull’s pace. But he’s certainly close enough to be competitive and remember the RB6′s race pace has never lived up to its one-lap qualifying speed.
The picture is far less rosy at McLaren. Jenson Button and Vettel were on-track on super-soft tyres at the same time (see the 50-53 minute mark on the interactive chart).
Vettel was almost eight-tenths of a second quicker. Button aborted his second effort after a slight mistake, but he was never going to find that amount of time.
And Red Bull aren’t in the habit of running their car light in practice. If anything they’ve tended to look better on Saturday than on Friday.
Despite the deficit, Lewis Hamilton reckons he still has the Red Bulls in sight:
The Red Bulls definitely aren’t unbeatable here. Okay, they’re very quick in the second and third sectors, so we’ll have to work hard to try to make up time there, but I’m pretty confident we can do it.
Here’s how their best sector times compared:
|Team||Sector one||Sector two||Sector three|
Mark Webber, meanwhile, insisted the team’s pace has not been compromised by the more stringent floor flexibility tests introduced after its dominant win in Hungary:
We knew nothing would change with our car before we came here; we’ve passed all the new FIA tests and we weren’t coming here expecting to be slower than we were in Budapest.
Other people had their ideas how to improve their car and we have continued to improve our car too. Ferrari still look quick and anyone can be on pole tomorrow, us, Ferrari or McLaren, we just keep trying to do our best.
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Car||Best lap||Gap||Lap||At time||Laps|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’46.660||14||57||29|
|2||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’47.287||0.627||18||64||27|
|15||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’49.896||3.236||13||35||28|
|16||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’49.984||3.324||6||16||10|
|17||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’50.191||3.531||7||19||31|
|18||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’50.896||4.236||7||16||35|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’53.431||6.771||21||84||25|
An ultimate lap is a drivers’ best three sector times added together:
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Car||Ultimate lap||Gap||Deficit to best|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’46.620||0.040|
|3||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’47.215||0.595||0.072|
|13||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’49.261||2.641||0.723|
|15||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’49.540||2.920||0.356|
|17||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’49.943||3.323||0.248|
|18||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’50.581||3.961||0.315|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’53.029||6.409||0.402|
2010 Singapore Grand Prix
- Technical review: Singapore Grand Prix
- Webber: Ferrari have momentum (Video)
- Final tracks suit McLaren better – Button
- No change in my approach – Hamilton
- Williams expect to keep up with Renault
- 2010 Singapore Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend? (Poll)
- Fourth win of 2010 is Alonso’s best yet (Ferrari race review)
- Poor pace and another Hamilton DNF hits title hopes (McLaren race review)
- Webber has champion’s luck but lacks Vettel’s pace (Red Bull race review)
Images © Ferrari spa, Red Bull/Getty Images