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FP1: Sebastian Vettel off to a flyer in Singapore

  • Published on 21 Sep 2012 14:39
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton staged a battle for fastest time round the Marina Bay circuit here in Singapore on Friday evening, with the honour finally going to the reigning world champion by 0.049s.

The opening session began on a track that was still damp in several places after the heavy storm that blew in just before GP2 practice, but eventually it dried out almost completely.

Initially the McLaren had a significant advantage in the first sector, but the Red Bull neutralised that with an advantage of its own in the second. Subsequently they evened out, but the advantage was still slightly with Red Bull in the third. Vettel lapped in 1m 50.566s to Hamilton's 1m 50.615s.

There was then a large gap to McLaren's Jenson Button, who pushed Ferrari's Fernando Alonso down to fourth in the closing moments, with 1m 51.459s to 1m 51.525s. Right behind them, Pastor Maldonado had a relatively uneventful time, bar one trip down the Turn Nine escape road, planting his Williams fifth on 1m 51.576s ahead of Mark Webber in the second Red Bull on 1m 51.655s, and the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta on 1m 51.658s and 1m 51.943s respectively. Daniel Ricciardo on 1m 52.275s and Sergio Perez on 1m 52.296s completed the top 10 for Toro Rosso and Sauber.

Bruno Senna was 11th for Williams on 1m 52.629s ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who recorded 1m 52.716s for Lotus, early pacesetter Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 52.839s for Sauber and Michael Schumacher on 1m 52.986s in the Mercedes, which was running its revised exhaust system.

Romain Grosjean's return to active Formula One duty yielded 15th place on 1m 53.028s for Lotus, leaving him ahead of Felipe Massa on 1m 53.080s in the second Ferrari, Jean-Eric Vergne on 1m 53.189s in the second Toro Rosso and Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes on 1m 53.227s.

Timo Glock was the star among the 'new' teams with 1m 54.908s for Marussia, which left him ahead of Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 55.091s. Charles Pic in the other Marussia was ahead of Vitaly Petrov in the other Caterham in this inter-team fight, with 1m 55.335s to 1m 55.760s.

At HRT there was an intra-team battle, as Ma Qing Hua was at one stage within three-tenths of team leader Pedro de la Rosa in an impressive run, before the Spaniard improved and left him behind, 1m 56.656s to 1m 58.053s. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a bad performance from the Chinese rookie. (Formula1.com)

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Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 215
  • Podiums 1
  • Grand Prix 100
  • Country Spain
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (40)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, Spain
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
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10 - Sep 12 2021
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22 - Oct 24 2021
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Mexico
12 - Nov 14 2021
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19 - Nov 21 2021
Qatar
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20 2021
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18 2021
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30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29 2021
3 - Sep 5 2021
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10 - Sep 12 2021
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Russian Sochi Autodrom
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8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey Istanbul Park
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United States of America Circuit of the Americas
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12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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