Vettel leads Hamilton in damp session at Singapore

2012 Singapore Grand Prix first practice

Paul di Resta, Force India, Marina Bay, 2012Sebastian Vettel headed the times after a damp first practice session at Singapore.

He took the fastest time off Lewis Hamilton late in the session with a lap of 1’50.566, 0.049s faster than the McLaren driver could manage.

Practice began on a damp track with some water off-line and even a few leaves, following heavy rain earlier in the day. Drivers made a tentative start to the session, with many using intermediate tyres for their first runs.

Kamui Kobayashi was the first driver to tackle the circuit using slicks and reeled off a string of fastest laps. This signalled the beginning of the real action, and the others followed him in using the soft tyres.

The times quickly tumbled, with Rosberg taking over at the top and Hamilton doing so as well, before Vettel sealed the best time of the session.

Jenson Button made a late improvement to take third place ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Pastor Maldonado was fifth, the Williams driver one of several to explore Singapore’s run-off areas during the session. Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean were also among those to go off, though all did so without damage.

HRT’s test driver Ma Qing Hua made his second appearance in an F1 session and was slowest, 1.4s off team mate Pedro de la Rosa.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’50.566 24
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.615 0.049 15
3 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’51.459 0.893 17
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’51.525 0.959 20
5 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’51.576 1.010 20
6 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’51.655 1.089 19
7 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’51.658 1.092 24
8 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’51.943 1.377 21
9 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’52.275 1.709 24
10 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’52.296 1.730 19
11 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’52.629 2.063 25
12 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’52.716 2.150 16
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’52.839 2.273 23
14 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’52.986 2.420 21
15 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’53.028 2.462 20
16 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’53.080 2.514 17
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.189 2.623 25
18 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’53.227 2.661 26
19 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’54.908 4.342 20
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’55.091 4.525 16
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’55.335 4.769 22
22 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’55.760 5.194 22
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’56.656 6.090 21
24 23 Ma Qing Hua HRT-Cosworth 1’58.053 7.487 20

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

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17 comments on Vettel leads Hamilton in damp session at Singapore

  1. Scottie (@scottie) said on 21st September 2012, 12:52

    Force India were fast here last year also… but great to see Ricciardo up there.
    Williams almost all in top10 also.

    only FP1… I know…

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 21st September 2012, 12:53

    Marussia quicker than Caterham… interesting. I wonder, how much time will pass until Caterham will be shaked by reorganization, because they don’t produce any progress.

    • Cyril Abiteboul Will join them next year as team manager….he is working for renault sport at the moment

    • I think you’re wrong…Caterham were progressing quickly at the start of the year. Many times the gap to the next fastest car in qualifying would be around 0.5 secs or less. They used to be over 2 secs ahead of Marussia.

      Then they reached their high point in Valencia, where they were competitive with both Torro Rossos throughout the race. Ever since then, its been downhill, despite a substantial upgrade at one of the following races.

      I don’t know what went wrong…whether their new parts are actually a step back. But clearly they made progress at the start of the year and have fallen way back now, allowing Marrusia to match/beat them on pace.

    • I think all in all Caterham is still in much much better possition. They’ve been doing some serious work for quite a while, and it’s taking long yeah, but the results should start to come.

      Marussia is reorganizing too, with a change of hands in the middle. But they are a bit later on the line, I guess…

  3. Drop Valencia! said on 21st September 2012, 13:09

    “Qing Hua Ma made his second appearance in an F1 session and was slowest, 1.4s off team mate Pedro de la Rosa” Better than Massa’s 1.5 sec. down, Ferrari 2013?

  4. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 21st September 2012, 13:13

    Good to see Pastor setting some good times. The Williams should be fast around here :)

  5. Interesting… could be set for a finely poised contest. The track would better suit Red Bull but Mclaren have been no slouches on high downforce circuits either.

    Not sure what season that guy on twitter’s been watching. Sure, Schumacher’s got better and closer, but Rosberg’s been “comprehensively outpaced” and taken a “dent” to his reputation? Come off it.

    • I’m no fan of Schumacher. But other 2-3 races (China, Bahrain, cant remember).. I thought Schumacher was significantly better than his teammate. Dont know about the guy on twitter, but Rosberg went down a notch or two in my books this year.

  6. McLarenFanJamm (@mclarenfanjamm) said on 21st September 2012, 13:49

    3rd-7th separated by just 2 tenths. Would be nice if a couple more people could get themselves ahead of Alonso during quali tomorrow ;)

  7. Red Bull back on form? This could add yet another twist to both championships!

    • Red Bull do look in form but there’s a big question mark over reliability this weekend. Red Bull are puttin pressure on Renault to end their collaboration with Magneti Marelli so, I guess those alternators are still an issue, apparently…

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 21st September 2012, 18:01

        Red Bull are puttin pressure on Renault to end their collaboration with Magneti Marelli

        i think this is silly, Red Bull are trying to put the blame on Magneti Marelli for their failure, the company said that the component in question was fine & its failure was due to an exceptional mechanical tension (Renault engines)

    • Singapore is very hard on the cars, so alternators could be a problem. I was lead to believ it was a cooling issue, so wouldn’t simply ducting more air allow for them to be cooled sufficiently to not fail?

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st September 2012, 18:10

    Nice effort from Ma Qing Hua. He’s managed to improve on the gap to his team mate by half a second when compared to Monza. Given that this is a longer lap too and certainly more technical that’s a pretty solid effort I would say.

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