Lewis Hamilton edged out Red Bull rival Max Verstappen to lead Mercedes to the front of the pack in second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix as traffic masked Ferrari’s true pace.

After seeing Verstappen set the pace through opening practice at Marina Bay on Friday afternoon, Hamilton pulled clear under the night sky with a fastest lap time of 1m38.773s.

The effort was good enough to give him P1 by 0.184 seconds ahead of Verstappen, who led Red Bull’s charge as teammate Alexander Albon lost track time after an early mistake at Turn 10.

Albon locked up and went straight on at the corner, causing him to hit the barrier square-on and break the front wing on his Red Bull RB15 car. The crash cost the Anglo-Thai driver 15 minutes before he returned to the track, ultimately setting a lap good enough for P5.

Traffic was a big issue for many throughout FP2, including Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc both finished adrift from the pace-setters. Vettel was eight-tenths of a second behind Hamilton after his first qualifying simulation lap was compromised by Lance Stroll, while Leclerc was a further four-tenths off in P6. Valtteri Bottas slotted into fifth for Mercedes, 1.1 seconds off his teammate’s time.

The closest call on-track came between Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen in the final sector. Perez duked his car right at Turn 21 to try and open up a lap, only to squeeze Magnussen’s Haas car into the wall, causing some minor damage. The incident was noted by race director Michael Masi.

McLaren continued its strong start to the Singapore race weekend as Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris both made the top 10, finishing P7 and P9 respectively. Nico Hulkenberg split the pair for Renault, while Pierre Gasly completed the top half of the field for Toro Rosso.

Daniil Kvyat finished one place behind his teammate in 11th ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Perez, with Alfa Romeo drivers Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen taking P13 and P15, split by Stroll.

Haas struggled for pace through FP2 as Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished down in 17th and 19th. George Russell managed to lift his Williams up to 18th ahead of Magnussen, while teammate Robert Kubica propped up the running order.

 

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