Daniel Ricciardo continued his sweep of Free Practice for the Singapore GP as he topped the times again in FP2, over half a second ahead of team mate Max Verstappen.

Having set a new track record in the first session, Ricciardo posted a succession of fastest laps to improve his best time to stop the clocks at 1:40.852 using Pirelli’s Ultra Soft rubber.

Team mate Max Verstappen was anxious on Ricciardo’s heels as he pushed hard to keep up, clipping the wall at the exit of Turn 10 and only managed a gap of +0.556s off his team mate’s benchmark. His effort was still fast enough to ensure a Red Bull 1-2 and a clean sweep of Friday’s practice.

Lewis Hamilton got ahead of championship rival Sebastian Vettel and set the 3rd quickest time, 0.147 behind Verstappen, but  big chunk ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas who, despite setting the 4th quickest time kept struggling, making a mistake at the final corner on his quickest Ultra Soft run and also struggling with his long runs.

Vettel, on the other hand, dropped back massively after being second quickest in FP1 to finish the session 11th fastest . His team mate Kimi Raikkonen not faring much better in 9th. Vettel’s fastest run, however, was disrupted by traffic and a close encounter with the barriers, which forced him to return to the pits for checks.

Nico Hulkenberg was an impressive 5th fastest for Renault ahead of the McLaren pair of Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso in 6th and 7th respectively while Force India managed to stick both cars in the top 10 once again, with Perez and Ocon in  8th and 10th respectively.

Carlos Sainz returned to the track to assume duties from tester Sean Gelael to take 12th fastest ahead of team mate Daniil Kvyat in 13th. Sainz’s FP2 wasn’t without drama, though, as an off-track excursion left him reversing back into the tight confines of the Marina Bay Circuit, forcing Vettel and other drivers to take avoiding action.

The news of Sainz going to Renault to partner Hulkenberg took a heavy toll on Jolyon Palmer, who brushed the wall on his way to 14th, significantly down on his team mate but ahead of both Williams and Haas.

Felipe Massa couldn’t improve on his FP1 showing as he took 15th, half a second ahead of team mate Lance Stroll, while Haas occupied the next two spots in 17th and 18th for Magnussen and Grosjean respctively, with Grosjean again suffering from a spin in the evening session.

Sauber again brought up the rear with Wehrlein this time getting the better of Ericsson, both five seconds adrift of Ricciardo’s pace and just into 107% of his benchmark.

Saturday’s final practice session will begin at 18:00 local time (GMT +8) before qualifying commences three hours later a 21:00 local.

 

Image via Red Bull Content Pool

 

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Ahmad Shallouf

Contributing Writer at MotorsportM8

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