Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets as his Mercedes team and Red Bull ruled Friday’s first free practice session for the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix.

Hamilton posted 1 minute 47.055 on the 5.073-kilometres Marina Bay street circuit. The Briton led the way from the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber (1:47.420) and championship leader Sebastian Vettel (1:47.885). Nico Rosberg was fourth in the other Mercedes (1:48.239).

Vettel commands the standings with 222 points from 12 of 19 races in his bid for a fourth straight world title. He is 53 points clear of his nearest rival Fernando Alonso, who was seventh on Friday for Ferrari in 1:48.362.

Vettel and Alonso have two wins each in Singapore, and Hamilton one. Germany’s Vettel is coming off two straight wins for a season-leading tally of six top spots.

The second practice session is scheduled to be held under floodlights, with qualifying on Saturday and the race to be held on Sunday to take place under artificial lighting.

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