Sebastian Vettel looks to be a prime candidate for pole position after confirming Red Bull’s dominance to-date for this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, topping the timesheets in the third and final practice session before tonight’s all-important qualifying session.
The margin of over half a second to Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari might look imposing, but the German’s prime spot on the timing screens was all but secured courtesy of a last-minute yellow flag that forced many rivals to abandon their final hot lap.
The culprit was Bruno Senna, with the Hispania Racing driver grinding to a halt at Turn 18 after spinning.
Vettel assumed the head of the leaderboard with 20 minutes of the one-hour session to run, overtaking the benchmark set by Lewis Hamilton, who was eventually classified as the third-quickest runner. He was followed by Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber.
Track conditions were again mixed, with the street circuit dotted with rain puddles after a pre-session shower. Several drivers ventured out for exploratory laps on intermediate tyres, but was some 20 minutes into the session before Lucas di Grassi posted the first timed lap.
His time was quickly overhauled by Jaime Alguersuari, with the Toro Rosso driver then exchanging quickest times with his team-mate Sébastien Buemi and Robert Kubica in the Renault. Their best efforts were then to be overcome by Hamilton, who would later then be eclipsed by Vettel.
The teams will be glad to avoid the hassle of crash repairs to their very expensive cars, with all drivers managing to avoid chucking their machines into the crash barriers.
However, with thunderstorms forecast to lash the area at 10pm local time – right when qualifying starts – we could see an incident-filled and very unpredictable grid for tomorrow night’s race.
But the other 22 cars will have quite a job catching the Red Bulls, it would seem…
2010 Singapore GP Practice 3 Session Times:
[Original image via Sutton Images]