Marina Bay Practice 3: Vettel is the man to beat 22 September, 2012 Sebastian Vettel was fastest in FP3 Sep.22 (GP247) Sebastian Vettel made it three out of three as his Red Bull topped the timing sheets at the end of the final free practice session of the Singapore Grand Prix weekend at the Marina Bay Street Circuit – he was also quickest in FP1 and FP2 the previous day. The world champion, who dominated last year, bolted on a set of Pirelli super soft tyres and proceeded to scorch around the city centre circuit in a time of 1 minute 47.947 seconds. His time on the red banded tyres was over 1.5 seconds better than he was able to achieve on the yellow band soft tyres. Vettel was 0.325 seconds up on the next best driver – Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren, with Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso over half a second down with the third best time. To be fair many of the runners did not manage to get a clean run on the super softs, as Vitaly Petrov slammed the wall exiting Turn 21 then coasted to a halt on the entry to the pit lane. This brought out the red flags with few minutes remaining in the session, with most of the gang on the faster rubber. Petrov was not the only one to have a close encounter with concrete wall, during the hour Sergio Perez slammed it first with his Sauber in Turn 18. giving the Sauber mechanics something to keep busy with. Some 20 minutes later Mark Webber also slapped the wall in the same place, apparently much harder than Perez’s had, which left the Red Bull limping back to the pits with a deflated tyre. But after a short examination they bolted on a new right rear and sent the Aussie out again. At the sharp end of proceedings Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India looked impressive and claimed fourth spot on the timing screens, while Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus showed their hand for the first time with the fifth best time. Felipe Massa was sixth fastest in the second Ferrari and Paul di Resta fractionally slower with the seventh best time. Ironically, slowest of the Mercedes powered brigade were Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher – eighth and tenth respectively – the Silver Arrows squad appearing to be in free fall down the pecking order despite a raft of new aero bits for their W03 in Singapore. Reading between the lines it looks set to be a shoot-out between Red Bull and McLaren for pole position with Vettel looking the most likely, with Alonso as the outsider… Subbed by AJN. Singapore Grand Prix, Free practice 3 – Saturday, 22 September 2012 Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:47.947 15 2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.272 0.325 15 3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:48.623 0.676 11 4 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:48.859 0.912 16 5 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:48.865 0.918 17 6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:49.458 1.511 13 7 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:49.684 1.737 15 8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.699 1.752 16 9 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:49.715 1.768 14 10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:49.981 2.034 14 11 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:50.110 2.163 12 12 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.524 2.577 10 13 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:50.664 2.717 16 14 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.777 2.830 15 15 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:50.840 2.893 15 16 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:51.012 3.065 15 17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:51.059 3.112 17 18 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:51.272 3.325 10 19 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:52.290 4.343 16 20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:53.781 5.834 12 21 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:54.326 6.379 14 22 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:54.421 6.474 14 23 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:54.630 6.683 9 24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:54.875 6.928 14 Related NewsPirelli reveal compounds for next three racesPerez: One day something will happen with the tyres so we will regret itHorner: Vettel has got to be right up there with F1′s greatest driversMassa: I have talked to a few teams and there may be some good opportunitiesCan anyone stop Vettel’s relentless charge to a fourth Formula 1 world title?Typhoon heading for Korea ahead of grand prix weekendIs clever engine mapping on his Red Bull the secret to Vettel’s success?Ferrari taxi ride invoice to Webber after singapore was a blogger’s hoaxMinardi: It’s not my intention to devalue Vettel, I just want to tell what I sawWere Vettel and his Red Bull using clever traction control in Singapore win?