Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of FP2 for the Singapore Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso kept Ferrari near the top of the timesheets.

With the supersoft tyres being used for low fuel runs in the second session, Hamilton set a 1:47.490 to beat Alonso by 0.133s, thought the Ferrari needed two flying laps to reach that mark. Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg aborted the start of his flying lap and could only end the session in 12th place, some 1.5s off the pace.

While Ferrari often flatters to deceive during Friday practice it was another strong performace from Alonso, who had topped the opening session for the first time since June. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen also enjoyed an encouraging FP2 under the floodlights as he was fourth fastest, half a second off Hamilton and with only Daniel Ricciardo between himself and Alonso.

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Ricciardo said on Thursday that he wanted to be within a few tenths of the Mercedes and he got his wish as he finished 0.3s away from Hamilton, but team-mate Sebastian Vettel suffered more Friday misfortune.

Vettel stopped at the end of FP1 with suspected engine failure which required his engine to be changed between sessions. Unluckily for Red Bull, the Singapore schedule features just a two-hour gap between Friday practice sessions - instead of the usual two and a half - and Vettel was confined to the garage until the final seven minutes as the team worked on the car.

Despite the setback, Vettel was still able to set the fifth fastest time - 0.625s off Hamilton - on his first flying lap at a circuit where he has won on his last three visits.

Another team having a difficult FP2 was Lotus as Pastor Maldonado brought out the red flags halfway through the running. Maldonado carried too much speed in to Turn 10, ran wide and hit the wall heavily, damaging the right hand side of his Lotus.

McLaren - running with a big upgrade package - enjoyed an encouraging session with Kevin Magnussen sixth and Jenson Button seventh, although Magnussen complained of a problem late in the session as he felt a sudden loss of downforce.

The two Force Indias were also in the top ten but the other Mercedes-powered team - Williams - was well off the pace with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas 17th and 18th respectively.

Marussia showed improved pace compared to FP1 as both drivers finished ahead of both Caterhams, but Max Chilton was forced to stop at Turn 18 as his team informed him of a fire in the car, though none was evident when Chilton calmly climbed clear.