Vettel recorded a time of 1.44:173 with the Red Bull’s super-soft tyres at Marina Bay with team-mate Mark Webber having to come through traffic on a late flying lap to come fourth quickest.
However, aside from Red Bull’s continued dominance, the story of the session was the lap of Grosjean, who went round just two tenths slower than the championship leader.
Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who confirmed this week he will be joining Ferrari at the end of the season, could only find enough pace to finish 12th in the standings.
While Vettel looks well placed to challenge for his fifth pole position of the season, the pace of Grosjean - and the two Mercedes, with Nico Rosberg third fastest and Lewis Hamilton fifth – suggests it is far from a foregone conclusion.
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