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Final practice - Vettel stays ahead at Marina Bay 25 Sep 2010

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice Day, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 24 September 2010 Kubica and Alonso almost come together as the Spaniard leaves the pit lane Hulkenberg gets sideways and does well to keep control Schumacher makes a heavy landing through the Singapore Sling chicane

Red Bull continued to hold sway after the final free practice session this evening at Singapore’s Marina Bay Circuit. Sebastian Vettel was the quickest man on a track that was still damp in places after lunchtime rain, as different corners tended to dry at different rates, and the difference in the asphalt in places made it particularly hard to determine whether the surface was wet or dry.

The German lapped his RB6 in 1m 48.028s, a comfortable 0.622s ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari on 1m 48.650s. Lewis Hamilton was third for McLaren 1m 1m 49.000s, just ahead of Felipe Massa’s Ferrari on 1m 49.023s and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes on 1m 49.056s.

Championship leader Mark Webber was still struggling to hone his Red Bull and took sixth on 1m 49.212s, with Nico Hulkenberg looking strong all session for Williams and taking seventh on 1m 49.304s. Then came Robert Kubica for Renault on 1m 49.520s, Adrian Sutil for Force India on 1m 49.916s and Sebastien Buemi for Toro Rosso on 1m 49.949s.

Vitaly Petrov was 11th on 1m 50.040s for Renault from Rubens Barrichello on 1m 50.053s for Williams, Jenson Button on 1m 50.060s in the second McLaren, and Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher each on 1m 50.067s. Talk about close times!

Then there was a gap to Tonio Liuzzi’s 1m 50.868s for Force India which beat the two BMW Saubers as Nick Heideld just aced team mate Kamui Kobayashi, with 1m 51.016s to 1m 51.027s.

Virgin were the fastest new team by a comfortable margin as Timo Glock took his VR-01 round in 1m 52.340s, as Heikki Kovalainen could not better 1m 53.146s for Lotus. The Finn had Lucas di Grassi and team mate Jarno Trulli for company, with 1m 53.297s and 1m 53.681s apiece.

At the back, returnee Christian Klien tucked up HRT team mate Bruno Senna with 1m 54.826s to 1m 55.367s. The Brazilian spun in Turn 10 early on, and later went off at Turn 18. Other notable incidents were minor offs for both Mercedes drivers, and Alguersuari, but nobody sustained any damage.

The current state of the track suggests that qualifying could be something of a lottery, especially in the midfield.

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