Sebastian Vettel says losing the final 50 minutes of second practice in Singapore won’t negatively impact his chances of getting his Formula One title bid back on track.
Vettel was on course to challenge Raikkonen for top spot in second practice but contact with the barriers on the exit of Turn 22 forced him to abort his one and only lap on the hyper-soft tyres. The damage left Vettel’s car in the garage for the remainder of the session meaning he missed out on completing his race simulation.
The German is the most successful driver at the Singapore Grand Prix, winning on four previous occasions and he’s sure the loss of track time won’t hamper his chances of winning under the lights once again.
“Yeah obviously there was a bit more than just a kiss, then we took precaution and decided not to run,” Vettel said. “Obviously we lost some time, which is not ideal, but nevertheless I think I’ve got a good feel for the car and thankfully I’ve been here before so I know the track.
“Tomorrow I think it will be key to find the right balance and feel the car a little bit better than this evening and then we should be fine.”
Lewis Hamilton ended the day just 0.011s behind Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel believes the fight with Mercedes and Red Bull — who performed strongly in the first practice session and the later race simulations in FP2 — will be close.
“I think it will be very close,” Vettel added. “I think it’s difficult to really read too much into the times. Also when people had traffic and so on it’s difficult to say how much they were struggling with tyres or not.
“I think tyres will be key on Sunday, Red Bull looked very strong, especially later in the stints, so we will see.”