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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory