The Red Bull pair of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber set the fastest times on the first day of free practice on the Marina Bay Circuit.
The Red Bulls looked back to their best after two races on tracks which didn’t play to their strengths in Spa and Monza.
All weekend the team has been asked about the FIA flexi tests and after showing what they’ve got today, Webber was pretty bullish about the legality of the cars,
“We knew nothing would change with our car before we came here,” said Webber. “We’ve passed all the new FIA tests and we weren’t coming here expecting to be slower than we were in Budapest. Ferrari look quick and anyone can be on pole tomorrow.”
Anyone in a Red Bull perhaps. I have a sneaking suspicion that Vettel might put a bit of run together now, like Webber did in Spain and Monaco. It’s just a hunch.
Ferrari have been Red Bull’s closest competitors since early summer, although it doesn’t look that way because of the way some of the races, like Valencia and Silverstone and Spa, turned out. Alonso missed the last 20 minutes of the session due to an”experimental part” in the gearbox breaking after he had overshot a corner and reversed back onto the track.
Meanwhile the McLaren drivers seemed reasonably happy with their cars, Lewis Hamilton said that his car was better over the bumps than it has been so far this season and sounds optimistic, as usual, “We’re reasonably close; we’re competitive; there’s more time for us to find tomorrow; so I’m optimistic,” he said.
“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. Okay, 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.”