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F1 Singapore: Sebastian Vettel sets the pace at Marina Bay

World championship leader. German Sebastian Vettel, set the pace Friday at Marina Bay circuit as he scored the best time of the two free practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Singapore.

During the morning session, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time, beating Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

F1 Mercedes AMG Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG. (Photo: WRi2)

Hamilton was quick from the moment he started running on a track rendered slightly less green after the preceding GP2 practice, and wound up with 1m47.055 as Webber led Vettel with 1m47.420 to 1m47.885.

Nico Rosberg was next up in the second Mercedes, on 1m 48.239, ahead of the Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean on 1m48.354s, and 1m48.355s, Grosjean having spent around 60 of the 90-minute session in the garage thanks to a steering issue.

Fernando Alonso was Ferrari's lead runner in seventh on 1m 48.362s, while Sergio Perez flew the flag for McLaren despite one off-track excursion, with 1m 49.267s.

Grand Prix of Singapore, Friday, first free practice session*
1 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W04) - 1'47"055 - 20 laps
2 - Mark Webber (Red Bull RB9-Renault) - 1'47"420 - 20
3 - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB9-Renault) - 1'47"885 - 19
4 - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W04) - 1'48"239 - 23
5 - Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus E21-Renault) - 1'48"354 - 18
6 - Romain Grosjean (Lotus E21-Renault) - 1'48"355 - 12
7 - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F138) - 1'48"362 - 21
8 - Sergio Perez (McLaren MP4/28-Mercedes) - 1'49"267 - 20
9 - Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso STR8-Ferrari) - 1'49"348 - 23
10 - Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber C32-Ferrari) - 1'49"355 - 21
11 - Pastor Maldonado (Williams FW35-Renault) - 1'49"481 - 207
12 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari F138) - 1'49"493 - 1'49"493 - 21
13 - Valtteri Bottas (Williams FW35-Renault) - 1'49"510 - 20
14 - Jenson Button (McLaren MP4/28-Mercedes) - 1'49"608 - 18
15 - Paul Di Resta (Force India VJM06-Mercedes) - 1'49"887 - 20
16 - Adrian Sutil (Force India VJM06-Mercedes) - 1'50"092 - 17
17 - Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber C32-Ferrari) - 1'50"222 - 16
18 - Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso STR8-Ferrari) - 1'50"757 - 16
19 - Jules Bianchi (Marussia MR02-Cosworth) - 1'52"359 - 16
20 - Max Chilton (Marussia MR02-Cosworth) - 1'52"673 - 15
21 - Giedo Van der Garde (Caterham CT03-Renault) - 1'52"920 - 24
22 - Charles Pic (Caterham CT03-Renault) - 1'53"647 – 23
*Unofficial timing

F1 Felipe Massa Ferrari Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, Ferrari. (Photo: WRi2)

In free practice 2, Vettel beat Webber, making it a Red Bull Racing sweep.

The two swapped the top spot repeatedly on the soft compound tires early before the German blew that pace away when he moved onto super softs and lapped in 1m44.249.

Webber's reply was compromised when he brushed the outside wall near the end of the lap, leaving him 0.604s down in the end.

Nico Rosberg was third in front of his teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

Recurrent steering and brake issues again limited Grosjean's track time, but did not stop him putting his Lotus fifth.

That placed him ahead of Alonso and Button in the top Ferrari and McLaren respectively, and Kimi Raikkonen in the second Lotus.

F1 Lotus E21
Lotus E21. (Photo: WRi2)

Grand Prix of Singapore, Friday, second free practice session*
1 - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB9-Renault) - 1'44"249 – 34 laps
2 - Mark Webber (Red Bull RB9-Renault) - 1'44"853 - 30
3 - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W04) - 1'45"258 - 34
4 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W04) - 1'45"368 - 33
5 - Romain Grosjean (Lotus E21-Renault) - 1'45"411 - 18
6 - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F138) - 1'45"692 - 32
7 - Jenson Button (McLaren MP4/28-Mercedes) - 1'45"754 - 30
8 - Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus E21-Renault) - 1'45"778 - 32
9 - Adrian Sutil (Force India VJM06-Mercedes) - 1'46"002 - 27
10 - Sergio Perez (McLaren MP4/28-Mercedes) - 1'46"025 - 31
11 - Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso STR8-Ferrari) - 1'46"406 - 34
12 - Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso STR8-Ferrari) - 1'46"429 - 33
13 - Paul Di Resta (Force India VJM06-Mercedes) - 1'46"606 - 33
14 - Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber C32-Ferrari) - 1'46"808 - 36
15 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari F138) - 1'49"493 - 1'46"870 - 33
16 - Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber C32-Ferrari) - 1'47"287 - 29
17 - Valtteri Bottas (Williams FW35-Renault) - 1'47"434 - 33
18 - Pastor Maldonado (Williams FW35-Renault) - 1'47"781 - 25
19 - Giedo Van der Garde (Caterham CT03-Renault) - 1'49"434 - 34
20 - Charles Pic (Caterham CT03-Renault) - 1'49"526 – 34
21 - Max Chilton (Marussia MR02-Cosworth) - 1'49"619 - 33
22 - Jules Bianchi (Marussia MR02-Cosworth) - 1'49"731 – 30
*Unofficial timing