Vettel closes out Singapore GP practice on top

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Sebastian Vettel closed out practice for the Singapore Grand Prix quickest as Ferrari rose to the front of the pecking order on Saturday evening.

Vettel posted a fastest lap time of 1:45.682 to finish half a second clear in top spot ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, leaving Red Bull to settle for P3 and P4 with Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo.

Ferrari and Red Bull led for the majority of the final practice session in Singapore as defending champions Mercedes once again struggled to match them for pace.

WATCH: FP3 full replay

On the soft tire runs early on, Vettel set the pace, running half a second clear of Kvyat behind. Ricciardo was the first to make the switch to the super-softs for Red Bull, rising up into P1 with his first flying lap on the quicker compound.

However, Vettel quickly re-established his dominance by going faster still, creating a Ferrari one-two at the top of the timesheets alongside teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Kvyat slotted into third place with his qualifying simulation, edging out Ricciardo in the sister Red Bull.

The biggest surprise of the session came from Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg once again failed to keep up with the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers. They eventually settled for fifth and sixth place respectively, prompting concern in the Mercedes garage that it may miss out on pole position for the first time in 2015 later today.

Fernando Alonso put in another solid display for McLaren to finish seventh, lapping just 0.04 seconds off the time of Rosberg in the Mercedes. Carlos Sainz Jr. followed his compatriot home in P8 for Toro Rosso, with teammate Max Verstappen and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson rounding out the top ten.

American driver Alexander Rossi enjoyed a trouble-free final practice session for Manor, finishing 19th overall ahead of teammate Will Stevens.

At the front, a real fight looks to be on the cards in qualifying if Mercedes cannot hoist itself out of its struggles. The German marque has started on pole at every single race so far this season, but Ferrari could be poised to end that streak today.

Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 9am ET on Saturday.

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.