Alonso sets the pace in opening Singapore practice

GP SINGAPORE F1/2014

Fernando Alonso topped opening practice for Ferrari ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Alonso, a two-time winner around the streets of Marina Bay, set the pace on the soft tyre with a lap of 1:49.056, edging out the two Mercedes team-mates of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg by just over a tenth of a second.

Sebastian Vettel, who survived a brush with the wall at Turn 21, was fourth fastest when his car ground to a halt at the entry to the pitlane in the dying seconds of the 90-minute session.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth in the second Red Bull, in what was an encouraging session for the defending champions, Vettel’s late failure aside.

Jean-Eric Vergne was fifth fastest for Toro Rosso, only to stop in the pit lane late on with an ERS failure.

Kimi Raikkonen ended the session seventh for Ferrari, two tenths ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button, while Daniil Kvyat and Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten for Toro Rosso and Force India respectively.

Kevin Magnussen was 11th for McLaren, four tenths clear of Nico Hulkenberg in the second Force India, but two seconds down on Alonso’s session topping time.

The two Williams drivers struggled in opening practice, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas just 13th and 15th fastest, the pair split by Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus.

Esteban Gutierrez, who missed most of the session with an electronics issue, was 16th, edging his Sauber team-mate Adrian Sutil in 17th by a tenth of a second.

Romain Grosjean finished the session 18th, seven tenths down on the Saubers but 1.2 seconds clear of his compatriot Jules Bianchi in the lead Marussia.

The two Caterhams of Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi were 20th and 21st, separated by two tenths, while Max Chilton propped up the time sheets, 22nd and last in the second Marussia car.

Image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari

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