Following a delayed start to the session due to drain repairs, Hamilton recovered from a difficult FP1 to jump to the top of the timesheets during the Soft tyre runs in FP2, though his best lap time - a 1m19.837s - was some two-tenths slower than what his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas managed in the morning.

Verstappen, who trails Hamilton in the championship by just a single point heading into this weekend’s second-ever grand prix at Portimao, once again took second spot in his RB16B.

The Dutchman’s session was briefly interrupted by a brake-by-wire issue but it proved to be a minor problem as he returned to the circuit following a short spell in the garage to split the Mercedes pair, with Bottas 0.344s down on Hamilton’s FP2 benchmark. 

Carlos Sainz was a strong fourth for Ferrari, while it was an encouraging afternoon for Alpine as both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon got within 0.4s of the leading time in P5 and P6.

Ferrari ended Friday with both its cars inside the top-10 as Charles Leclerc took seventh ahead of the lead McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo, who continues his quest to get fully up to speed at his new team.

Rounding out the rest of the top-10 runners were Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, with the Mexican unable to replicate the pace he showed in FP1.

Further down the order, Antonio Giovinazzi returned to the cockpit of his Alfa Romeo after Ferrari junior Callum Ilott deputised in the morning to make his grand prix practice bow.

The Italian finished 17th fastest, ahead of the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin - both of whom once again sandwiched Nicholas Latifi, who took a trip through the Turn 8 gravel on his way to 19th.