Friday, 14 september 2018, 09:47 , by Matthew Scott
Sebastian Vettel said he would be his own "biggest enemy" in the Formula 1 title race, but he surely had hoped it would not become a self-fulfilling prophecy at the Singapore Grand Prix. The Ferrari man will go into the race weekend with limited data, however, after clunking the wall in Friday's second practice session.
Although missing Friday practice is by no means terminal to Vettel's chances of cutting into Lewis Hamilton's 30-point championship lead, it will raise fears at Ferrari after last year's first-corner wipeout.
Vettel has four wins to his name at this circuit - and was on pole last year before his crash with Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen - but a fifth triumph was made more difficult when he collided with the concrete on his first flying run in FP2.
The German immediately jumped into the pits, where his car was leaking a red fluid, reportedly cooling fluid from a damaged pipe.
Vettel not only had to bail out of his qualifying simulation, but he did not emerge from the pits, so will be left to rely on Raikkonen's long-run data.
Vettel's claim on Thursday comes on the back of a growing litany of mistakes that have allowed Hamilton to open up a big gap and he now needs a flawless weekend at Marina Bay.
Raikkonen proved Ferrari's pace by topping the timesheets in FP2, with a top time of one minute 38.699 seconds.
Hamilton was in close quarters, however, just 0.011 seconds adrift, but Red Bull's promising FP1, which saw Ricciardo lead from Verstappen, was given a sharp reality check in the second session as they ran half a second off the leading pace.
Long runs suggest a tight race will make qualifying crucial, although expect the leading teams to run the ultrasoft tyre in Q2, as the hypersofts' lifespan is a concern.