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Fastest Vettel coy on supersoft speed in practice

Searing heat, high humidity and a bumpy Marina Bay Street Circuit under 1,500 halogen lights always make for a difficult combination, and so it proved after two tough practice sessions for tomorrow's Singapore Grand Prix.

Come the conclusion, reigning champion Sebastian Vettel (pictured) was fastest at the end of both 90-minute runs, especially on the significantly quicker supersoft tyre being used for the first time since Canada.

Vettel, who has fallen 39 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, was satisfied enough with his lap of one minute 48.340secs, over two seconds faster than his time in FP1 on the soft rubber.

"This is a tough circuit for drivers and cars, but overall we can be happy with today," said Vettel. "Results are not so conclusive as some drivers got stuck in traffic, but most important is the car seemed to work on either tyre, so we go from there."

Ferrari tried out a raft of new components on their car as they seek to help Alonso win his third world title, with the upshot being he was third quickest, just over half a second down. Alonso said: "Overall, I would say today was positive even if the first impression is we are not as competitive as we were in Monza two weeks ago."

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, second to Vettel early on, had to settle for fifth in FP2. With team-mate Jenson Button second quickest, 0.311secs adrift, but complaining of balance issues, Hamilton said: "I was comfortable with the car, the guys have done a great job. It feels a lot different to the last race where there is a lot less downforce, so it's great to be able to throw the car around a little more without it sliding."