Lewis Hamilton has returned to the top of the practice timesheets at this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, edging out Friday night’s early pace-setter Fernando Alonso for top spot. The Mercedes driver clocked a 1:47.490 on his quickest tour, while teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg languished in thirteenth-fastest.
The session saw a number of changes in the leaderboard as the teams worked through running both Pirelli compounds and low- and high fuel loads, while the street circuit’s grip levels also continued to evolve as more rubber was laid down.
Jean-Éric Vergne briefly held top spot in the early stages before Rosberg moved to the top. Then he was deposed by the Force Indias of Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg, who held a 1-2 on the top of the timesheets in their Mercedes-powered cars just past the half-hour mark. Ten minutes later and the order changed again, with Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Räikkönen and Kevin Magnussen moving into the top three.
The session was interrupted by a heavy crash for Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado, who buried the right front corner of his Lotus into the barriers on the outside of Turn 10. It was a clear driver error, with the Venezuelan overcooking it under braking on his first run on the SuperSoft tyres on which he and Romain Grosjean had looked reasonably quick.
The accident proved to be terrible timing for Rosberg, who’d looked on course to snatch top spot with a rapid opening sector split until he was forced to abandon his lap when the red flags were unfurled.
It was a quick delay while the mess was cleared away, and shortly after the resumption of play, Hamilton moved into top spot and held the position for the rest of the season. FP1 pacesetter Alonso moved into second place a few minutes later, and the order was pretty much cemented when the field switched to the harder tyres for longer runs.
The yellow flags were out again late in the session when Max Chilton was forced to park his Marussia with flames licking out the back of his Ferrari-powered car.
Sebastian Vettel looked set to miss the entire session after his suspected engine failure late in the opening practice session, but his Red Bull Racing mechanics managed a Hurculean effort to have his RB10 repaired and running by the final five minutes of play. The German managed three timed tours of the circuit, finishing fifth-fastest on the Pirelli Supersoft tyres.
As was the case in FP1, a number of runners found the slippery track conditions catching them out. This was particularly evident at Turn 5, where a few drivers carried too much speed on the approach to the right-hander.
Kamui Kobayashi once again found his Caterham facing the wrong way, this time spinning at Turn 8 but managing to recover. He and teammate Marcus Ericsson finished bottom of the timesheets.
The final practice session gets underway on Saturday at 6:00pm local time (UTC +8).
2014 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:47.490||25|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:47.623||+ 0.133||28|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:47.790||+ 0.300||28|
|4.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:48.031||+ 0.541||29|
|5.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:48.041||+ 0.551||5|
|6.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:48.358||+ 0.868||33|
|7.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:48.435||+ 0.945||30|
|8.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:48.653||+ 1.163||30|
|9.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:48.751||+ 1.261||31|
|10.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:48.770||+ 1.280||31|
|11.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:48.800||+ 1.310||33|
|12.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:49.062||+ 1.572||33|
|13.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:49.075||+ 1.585||30|
|14.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:49.139||+ 1.649||13|
|15.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:49.170||+ 1.680||34|
|16.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:49.290||+ 1.800||37|
|17.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:49.361||+ 1.871||29|
|18.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:49.971||+ 2.481||28|
|19.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:50.612||+ 3.122||24|
|20.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:51.558||+ 4.068||21|
|21.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:52.075||+ 4.585||33|
|22.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:52.936||+ 5.446||31|
Images via XPB Images