Daniel Ricciardo still on top as Sebastian Vettel fails to execute flying lap
Singapore Grand Prix - Free Practice 2

Daniel Ricciardo still on top as Sebastian Vettel fails to execute flying lap

15/09/2017

If Red Bull was mildly confident before practice in Singapore then it should leave the Marina Bay on Friday evening fancying its chances of victory.

Red Bull topped the timesheets in both sessions on Friday, dominating the field in FP2 as Daniel Ricciardo set a blistering time of 1:40.852, a new circuit record. Max Verstappen was 0.556s down in second place but he had shown impressive pace earlier in the session as the fastest man on the super-soft compound.

Ferrari, the team widely tipped to be the most competitive in Singapore, struggled to find rhythm in the second session but did show signs it will be there abouts when qualifying gets underway.

Sebastian Vettel had set a purple first sector on his initial flying lap before catching traffic and being forced to abandon the lap. His second attempt was then thwarted when he clipped the wall at Turn 10, causing track signage to fall onto the circuit and a temporary deployment of the VSC. Vettel spent the rest of the session on the soft tyre, eventually finishing in 11th place, but with his true pace over one lap yet to be seen.

Mercedes had braced itself for a difficult weekend in Singapore but Lewis Hamilton managed to end the day third quickest, albeit 0.703s down on Ricciardo's time. Teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg's Renault. Both Hamilton and Bottas completed 34 laps in the second session, the equal most of any driver.

Just hours after McLaren had announced its split with current engine supplier Honda, Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso showed the strength of the team's chassis by finishing sixth and seventh respectively. With Renault to be powering their car in 2018, McLaren could well be back in contention at these high downforce circuits.

Kimi Raikkonen finished ninth for Ferrari splitting the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon who enjoyed another positive session.

The Toro Rosso pair of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat finished 12th and 13th respectively, 0.2s quicker than Jolyon Palmer in the second Renault.

Lance Stroll flirted with danger throughout the session as Williams continued to struggle. The young Canadian twice made contact with the barriers before eventually finishing 16th, a place behind teammate Felipe Massa and ahead of the Haas' and Saubers.

Red Bull had been confident of a strong showing in Singapore, particularly after the unexpectedly encouraging signs shown on the low downforce Monza circuit a fortnight ago.

The final practice session gets underway at 18:00 local time on Saturday before qualifying at 21:00.

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