Hamilton tops Verstappen in FP2

Image by Sam Bloxham/LAT

Hamilton tops Verstappen in FP2

Formula 1

Hamilton tops Verstappen in FP2


Lewis Hamilton led Max Verstappen in the second practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix as Red Bull and Mercedes looked closely matched.

The championship leader had not shown his team’s pace in FP1 as both he and Valtteri Bottas focused on hard tire running, but the second session saw all drivers posting their best efforts on the softest compound. Hamilton ended up a little under 0.2s clear of Verstappen under the lights, leading the way on a 1m38.773s.

The pair were comfortably clear of the rest of the field as Ferrari had its session compromised a little. Sebastian Vettel ended up third quickest, 0.8s off the pace, but had set the fastest first sector on his first attempt on soft tires before being held up by Kevin Magnussen and backing off.

Vettel’s best lap then came later in the session and saw him finish 0.3s clear of Bottas, with the Finn returning to action after crashing in FP1. Bottas edged out Alexander Albon by just 0.049s, with the Red Bull rookie also having a crash.

Albon outbraked himself on the approach to Turn 10, locking up and going straight on into the barrier on the outside of the track. Hitting the Tecpro barrier head-on, the nose suffered damage as Albon left his front wing in the run-off area but was able to return to the garage and resume running.

Albon had earlier been wide at Turn 7 in an error that was committed by a number of drivers on Friday, as Romain Grosjean similarly went straight on under braking. Grosjean later had a spin at Turn 2 but managed to rejoin without damage, calmly asking his race engineer not to talk on the entry to corners afterward.

Both Haas drivers were involved in some form of incident, with Kevin Magnussen clashing with Sergio Perez in the final sector as the Racing Point driver attempted to start his lap. Magnussen complained there could be car damage and as unhappy at Perez, while the Mexican accused Magnussen of attempting to ruin his lap.

Both drivers have been summoned to the stewards regarding the incident after the session outside the top 10, with Charles Leclerc sixth after his earlier gearbox issue, and Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 10 positions.

McLaren, Renault and Toro Rosso looked like the midfield leaders throughout both Friday sessions, with Haas struggling once again as George Russell even managed to split Grosjean and Magnussen at the back of the field.