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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
News
Andy Murray shakes hands after defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round of Wimbledon, Saturday 4 July, 2015
Wimbledon
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
News
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
News
Could Greece leave the EU?
news
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'