FP2: Hamilton edges Verstappen under the Singapore lights
Lewis Hamilton led FP2 in Singapore by just 0.184s over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with FP1 runner-up Sebastian Vettel finishing third for Ferrari as drivers got valuable night-time running at Marina Bay.
Hamilton set the early pace on medium tyres, his time of 1m 39.991s reflective not only of the Mercedes’ confident gait around the city-centre circuit, but of the track’s slightly lower temperatures and gradually evolving surface.
Then, as qualifying runs beckoned, Hamilton improved to a 1m 38.773s on soft tyres to eclipse Verstappen, who led Vettel in FP1 by a similar margin. In third place Vettel was eight-tenths off the lead.
Back on track after crashing out of FP1, Valtteri Bottas finished fourth. Mercedes opted to put the Finn and team mate Hamilton on split strategies, Bottas ending the session with a long run on medium tyres and the Briton doing the same on softs.
FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX 2019
Practice 2 results
|1 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||1:38.773|
|2 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.184s|
|3 Sebastian Vettel VET Ferrari||+0.818s|
|4 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes||+1.121s|
|5 Alexander Albon ALB Red Bull Racing||+1.170s|
Only just behind the slower Mercedes was Red Bull’s Alex Albon, who lost his front wing early in the session with a lock-up and bump at Turn 10, but that was the extent of the damage to his RB15.
Also a retiree from FP1, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari shrugged off a suspected gearbox issue that had cost him running in the first practice session and the Monegasque driver finished sixth, albeit 1.245s behind Hamilton. Both Ferraris were frustrated by traffic in separate incidents.
Consistently among the fastest midfield runners this season, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was only a tenth slower than Leclerc, and ahead of Renault rival Nico Hulkenberg. Sainz’s team mate Lando Norris was ninth in the session, the rookie having spent an extra few days in Singapore to get acclimatised.
Rounding out the top 10, Pierre Gasly edged out his Toro Rosso team mate Daniil Kvyat by a tenth, and only half a second split Hulkenberg (P8) from team mate Daniel Ricciardo in P12.
Frustration dawned on Racing Point’s Sergio Perez as he appeared to squeeze Haas’s Kevin Magnussen (19th in FP2) towards the wall in Sector 3 as the two jostled for position on slow laps. Stewards noted the incident and both drivers were summoned after the session.
The Alfa Romeo pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were split by Racing Point’s Lance Stroll (P15) as Raikkonen – who set the fastest FP2 time here for Ferrari last year with a 1m 38.699s – finished 16th and six-tenths off the top 10.
Romain Grosjean, who signed a new contract with Haas prior to the weekend, spun at Turn 3 late on and finished just ahead of Williams’ George Russell, whose outgoing team mate Robert Kubica rounded out the standings.
With Verstappen and Hamilton already sparring on Friday, it sets up a scintillating qualifying session in Singapore on Saturday...