for full FP3 results
Sebastian Vettel has laid down the gauntlet to Mercedes ahead of qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix as he put more than a second between himself and the unusually lacklustre German marque in FP3.
With Mercedes hinting that Ferrari and Red Bull have genuine pace to challenge it in Singapore this weekend – despite the reservations of its contemporaries – FP3 revealed that Vettel at least is the man to take the challenge Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on a single lap.
Already much quicker than his rivals on the prime tyre during the early stages of the session, a switch to the option rubber saw Vettel turn in a 1min 45.682secs lap, putting him almost half-a-second clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in a dominant Ferrari 1-2.
Behind them, Red Bull furthered their cause a potential tip for a front row challenge too as FP2 pace setter Daniil Kvyat once again got the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in third and fourth, five and six tenths off the ultimate pace.
By contrast, Mercedes appear to have little answer to the rapid turn of form from its rivals around the demanding Marina Bay Circuit, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg 1.2 and 1.5secs off the pace respectively heading into what is destined to be the most unpredictable qualifying session of the year.
With Mercedes under pressure, the session would almost see Fernando Alonso get the better of Rosberg in seventh place, the Spaniard just 0.014secs slower as he looks well place to give McLaren its first top ten qualifying result of the year.
Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen ended the session in tandem in eighth and ninth, while Marcus Ericsson completed the top ten in the best of the Saubers.
A tough session for the Mercedes-powered teams, both Force Indias, Williams' and Lotus' were outside the top ten, though Sergio Perez may have stood to be higher had he not been baulked at the final corner by a touring Williams on his fastest lap.
Further back, Alexander Rossi got the better of team-mate Will Stevens ahead of his first qualifying performance as an F1 driver, the latter making a mistake on his super-soft tyre lap.