Sebastian Vettel has played down the importance of losing track time during second practice for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix after hitting the wall in FP2.

The German, who heads into this weekend’s race trailing chief title rival Lewis Hamilton by 30 points in the championship, clipped the wall on the exit of Turn 21 while on a flying lap, resulting in him being garage-bound for the rest of the session.

While Vettel appeared to have escaped with only minor damage to his Ferrari, he instantly returned to the pitlane and did not reappear with his car leaking red fluid in the pitlane and garage as he ended the session with the ninth-quickest time and just 12 laps to his name.

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The incident meant he was unable to conduct any race simulations during the second half of practice in conditions that will be represented on Sunday, though Vettel is not concerned.

When asked if there was any reason to panic, he replied: “No not at all. By now I think you have quite good experience reading into the others, what they did and reading into their runs with tyres which will obviously be key for Sunday but we can recover most of it tomorrow.”

Vettel set the third-quickest time in an opening practice session topped by the Red Bull duo, but Ferrari looked to be strong in FP2 as Kimi Raikkonen jumped to the top of the timesheets, just 0.011s clear of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

With both Red Bull drivers also appearing to be in the mix, Vettel is anticipating a close battle in qualifying and the race.

“I think it is very close with all the three teams,” he said. “I think Red Bull is maybe closer, they looked quick. We won’t really know before Sunday but obviously here the qualifying is important so we will see where we are tomorrow.”

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