Vettel puts his rivals to shame as Red Bulls set pace in practice

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dished out a stern warning to their rivals here yesterday, beneath the floodlights of Singapore's Marina Bay Circuit.

The other teams had arrived hoping that a recent tightening of the rules governing the flexibility of front wings would clip Red Bull's speed, but Vettel was 0.627sec ahead of his team-mate, and a whole second faster than third-placed Jenson Button in his updated McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton, fifth fastest behind Fernando Alonso who slid up an escape road and was unable to restart his Ferrari after it stalled when he selected reverse gear, was optimistic despite the deficit.

"The track was very tricky today because there were wet patches in some areas, but it was quite a good session for us," said Hamilton. "We're reasonably close; we're competitive; there's more time for us to find tomorrow; so I'm optimistic.

"In fact I think we'll be able to compete with the guys who were at the front today. The Red Bulls definitely aren't unbeatable here. OK, they're very quick in the second and third sectors, so we'll have to work hard to try to make up time there, but I'm pretty confident we can do it."

But Hamilton was critical of revisions to the chicane, and said: "I think they have made it worse; the chicane is now very tricky. You approach it at 170mph, and if something goes wrong, and you hit one of those curbs, you could have a nasty accident."

Meanwhile Michael Schumacher, 10th fastest, did his best to scotch rumours that he won't be driving for Mercedes next year, as other sources suggest he will assume a joint team-principal role with his long-time ally Ross Brawn and that Force India's Adrian Sutil will partner Nico Rosberg in the cockpits.

"You cannot get rid of me, let's put it this way," Schumacher said of the rumours. "Our goal is naturally to win the championship, better earlier than later. But it is a process and we are not magic, so we are trying to maximise our opportunity in deciding early to prepare for 2011.

"In my first activity with Benetton it took me about four years to finally win a championship, in Ferrari it took me five years and I hope we are much more efficient here."

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine