The Singapore Grand Prix looks set to be a battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after the pair finished less than two-tenths of a second apart in Friday night’s floodlit second practice session.

With conditions more representative of what the field will encounter in qualifying and the race, the drivers aimed to clock as many laps of the Marina Bay Street Circuit as possible and maximise their night-time running.

The cooler conditions saw the drivers lap much faster than Friday afternoon’s opening practice session – which was led by Verstappen in the Red Bull Racing Honda – and this time it was four-time Singapore Grand Prix winner Hamilton who was the benchmark driver across various tyre compounds and fuel loads.

His qualifying-style run saw him post a 1:38.773 to narrowly snatch top spot from Verstappen, while the gap to the rest of the field was significant to say the least.

A front wing and floor upgrade to his Ferrari could only get Sebastian Vettel third-fastest, albeit a full eight-tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace. The German encountered traffic on his faster laps.

With his car rebuilt after his heavy crash in FP1, Valtteri Bottas finished the session fourth-fastest in the second Mercedes. The Finn was not happy with the handling of his repaired car and was a full 1.1 seconds slower than his teammate on a circuit where his best finish is third place.

Fractions off Bottas’ pace was Verstappen’s teammate Alexander Albon, who found that the walls of the Singapore circuit can definitely bite. Early in the session, the Anglo-Thai driver suffered a lock-up over a bump at Turn 10 and speared nose-first into the barriers, breaking his car’s front wing.

With his gearbox issues that disrupted his FP1 running seemingly cured, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished the session sixth-fastest and, like Vettel, was hampered by traffic on his quicker runs.

The battle among the midfielders looks to be a tight scrap between McLaren and Renault. The former’s duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris once again finished inside the top-ten and were split by the Renault of Nico Hülkenberg, while the second Renault of Daniel Ricciardo was twelfth-fastest and half a second further adrift.

Between the two Renaults came the Toro Rosso pairing of Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, with their fastest laps less than one-tenth of a second apart.

There was a bit of drama between Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, with the Mexican appearing to squeeze the Dane as they both approached the final corner to start a flying lap. Both drivers were summoned to the FIA Stewards, with Pérez later handed a reprimand.

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:38.773 29
2. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing RB15 1:38.957 + 0.184 29
3. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:39.591 + 0.818 31
4. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:39.894 + 1.121 30
5. Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing RB15 1:39.943 + 1.170 30
6. Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:40.018 + 1.245 31
7. Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren F1 Team MCL34 1:40.145 + 1.372 33
8. Nico Hülkenberg Renault F1 Team RS19 1:40.324 + 1.551 30
9. Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team MCL34 1:40.361 + 1.588 35
10. Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:40.637 + 1.864 32
11. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:40.713 + 1.940 32
12. Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team RS19 1:40.811 + 2.038 30
13. Sergio Pérez Racing Point F1 Team RP19 1:40.875 + 2.102 29
14. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing C38 1:41.128 + 2.355 35
15. Lance Stroll Racing Point F1 Team RP19 1:41.128 + 2.355 31
16. Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing C38 1:41.232 + 2.459 28
17. Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team VF-19 1:41.392 + 2.619 26
18. George Russell ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 1:41.445 + 2.672 35
19. Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team VF-19 1:41.564 + 2.791 30
20. Robert Kubica ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 1:42.177 + 3.404 35

Image via Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

The following two tabs change content below.

Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.