Free Practice 2: Vettel by a whisker

Updated: 

Sebastian Vettel's chances of securing the title in Singapore are looking good after the Red Bull driver set the fastest time in second practice today.

However, Ferrari also put in a strong challenge on the Marina Bay Circuit, not least because of the soft and supersoft tyres that Pirelli have supplied for this weekend, with Fernando Alonso taking second position ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

The two McLarens did not have the smoothest of build-ups. Hamilton was dissatisfied with the setting of his brake pedal, especially on the left-hand side, and took his time going out on track.

Felipe Massa was fourth fastest and was fortunate that his session didn't end after just 15 minutes when he struck a loose kerb.

The last of the top five places went to Mark Webber ahead of Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez while Jenson Button's outing came to an abrupt halt half way through when he spun his McLaren and came to a stop just in front of the barrier. He couldn't get his car into reverse gear, so gave up for the day. The laps that he managed left left him in 10th place.

Britain's third driver, Paul di Resta, managed to edge his Force India ahead of Vitaly Petrov and Nico Rosberg for 13th in spite of problems with the car. The team will now strip the new floor from the car as a spokesman quipped: "We hope that we can get it right some time before the end of the season."

Early finishers included Pasto Maldonado and Sebastien Buemi, who clipped the wall coming out of the final corner, damaging his front right wheel, while Heikki Kovalainen had perhaps the luckiest escape of the day after his front right brake caught fire in the first session. He managed to rejoin for the afternoon practice though.

"The guys did a fantastic job," tweeted the Finn. "I'll buy them all a drink later."