Hamilton beats Alonso in FP2


Lewis Hamilton beat Fernando Alonso to the fastest time of the second practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg missed out on a quick lap. Hamilton's title rival and Mercedes team-mate Rosberg failed to set a clean lap as his super-soft tyre run coincided with a red flag caused by Pastor Maldonado. The Lotus driver made a mistake at Turn 10 and hit the barriers, destroying the right front suspension and front wing as well as putting the session on hold. As a result Rosberg had to settle for the 12th fastest time and turned his attention to race set-up when the session resumed. Alonso was the fastest of all in the middle sector, but a mistake in the final sector of his first flying run meant he set his best time on his second attempt. By that time his super-soft tyres were past their best and he was unable to match his impressive middle sector time again, but had he done so he would have been fastest of all. Daniel Ricciardo ensured Red Bull was in the hunt with the third fastest time, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was limited to just seven minutes due to an engine change. Vettel had an engine issue right at the end of the first practice session and the team did well to fit a new unit in under three and a half hours. Once he rejoined the session he was able to set the fifth fastest time, but with all the other cars focusing on long runs it was difficult for him to get a lap clear of traffic. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest with Kevin Magnussen's McLaren sixth. Magnussen looked quick but towards the end of the session started to struggle with the rear of the car. His team told him to "use the toys" to try to resolve the issue, which sounded like driving advice but was not specific to any corner on the track so will likely not fall foul of the new regulations dictating team radio. Jenson Button was seventh fastest ahead of the two Force Indias and Toro Rossos, which look likely to be in a fight for the final places in Q3 on Saturday. Along with Rosberg the Williams cars were the main big names missing from the top ten, but it is not unusual for Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas to hold some performance back in the opening two practice session.