Hamilton edges out Webber, Vettel in Singapore practice
Singapore: Lewis Hamilton was fastest in first free practice at the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday with his Mercedes comfortably ahead of the chasing Red Bulls on the demanding Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The Briton, a winner in 2009, clocked one minute 47.055 seconds in dry conditions to finish 0.365 seconds ahead of Mark Webber with the Australian`s Red Bull team mate and runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel third fastest in 1:47.885.
After two difficult weekends on the low downforce circuits in Belgium and Italy, Mercedes are hoping for a marked improvement on a high downforce layout.
Hamilton won in Hungary, another tight and twisty circuit, while team mate Nico Rosberg was victorious in Monaco, the slowest of all.
The German team`s confidence was quickly backed up by Hamilton in the first 90-minute session of the weekend with the 2008 world champion saying "the circuit feels twice as grippy as last year" over the team radio after setting the quickest lap.
Rosberg clocked the fourth fastest time (1:48.239) to suggest the weekend is likely to be a straight shootout between Mercedes and Red Bull on a 23-corner circuit where overtaking is very difficult.
Kimi Raikkonen showed that his confirmed switch to Ferrari for next season will not hinder his performance as the Finn finished fifth fastest for Lotus, another car that prefers high downforce tracks, one place ahead of team mate Romain Grosjean.
With rumours circulating around the paddock that Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso could be poised for a move to McLaren, the Spaniard failed to make an impact and was only seventh fastest, 1.307 seconds off the pace.
Alonso has won twice in Singapore but Ferrari will need to find more speed if he is overhaul a 53-point deficit to Vettel.
The session passed with little incident and with the infamous `Singapore Sling` turn 10 chicane less of a threat after track officials took heed of driver complaints. Only a few drivers came close to brushing the wall on the exit.
The teams and drivers will have two hours to analyse their data before they head out for the second free practice session at 9:30 p.m. (1330 GMT)
The Singapore Grand Prix is the 13th round of the 19-race season with races in Korea, Japan, India, Abu Dhabi, the United States and Brazil to follow.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- CBSE Board 10th Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & Cbseresults.nic class 10th X board exam results 2015 date announced
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday
- 'Unhappy' Celina Jaitley asks Sunny Leone to move out?
- BJP's plan for one-year celebration: 200 big rallies, 5,000 public meetings