Having topped FP1, Ferrari confirmed their impressive form in Singapore in second practice at Marina Bay, with Carlos Sainz moving ahead of his team mate Charles Leclerc by 0.018s under the spotlights.
George Russell, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were also looking in good form and Lando Norris enjoyed the upgraded McLaren, but Red Bull drivers Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen both struggled for handling, balance and grip.
With no further sign of the local lizard wildlife, there were no significant incidents during the hour-long session although Alex Albon was sidelined after suffering a suspected power unit issue on the Williams limiting him to just five laps.
By the time the second practice session got underway, the sun had set and the spotlights were taking over the work of illuminating every part of the Marina Bay Street Circuit. It meant conditions were very different and significantly cooler than they had been few hours before when Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz led the field. Could they continue to stay out in front?
Williams’ Logan Sargeant and AlphaTauri’s Liam Lawson were the first to head out, along with Haas veteran Nico Hulkenberg and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll all keen to get straight to work on medium tyres. Soon it was Stroll’s team mate Fernando Alonso leading the timings with a lap of 1:35.350s putting him 0.074s ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell.
Sainz put Ferrari back in charge with a time of 1:34.150s, three and a half tenths ahead of Leclerc with Lewis Hamilton third for Mercedes as Max Verstappen got caught up in a cluster of slow traffic having gone fourth. The track was improving with use and Alonso soon went quicker still before the Ferraris once again bounced back to the top in formation, Sainz posting a tidy time of 1:33.303s that was bettered by Leclerc’s 1:32.974s.
There was bad news for Alex Albon, who reported a loss of power through the final lap on an early run requiring him to return the FW45 for what proved to be the end of his day. Stroll survived a slight touch with the barrier at the outside of the Anderson Bridge, and there was a proper buckeroo moment for Verstappen coming out of turn 13, but no harm was done.
As the only practice session to be held in conditions comparable with qualifying, there was a particular intensity to the flying laps on the compound that commenced just before the half hour mark after a short hiatus in which there were no cars at all out on track.
Sainz moved the benchmark along again with a time of 1:32.120s, and this time Leclerc was kept 0.018s behind. Hamilton went third followed by Alonso, Russell and Verstappen. Kevin Magnussen was an unexpected eighth for Haas before lightly clipping the wall, at the same time Sargeant also had a snap and ran wide at turn 19.
There were further improvements for Russell and Norris putting them third and sixth respectively. However the Red Bulls weren’t their typically sprightly selves and were unusually struggling for grip, leaving Perez and Verstappen just seventh and eighth by the time the teams returned to fuel runs on medium tyres for the final 20 minutes.
In long run pace it was Alonso setting the strongest laps, followed by the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers. Further back, Lawson was looking confident in 12th putting him ahead of the likes of Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll, Oscar Piastri, Zhou Guanyu, Pierre Gasly – as well as his own team mate Yuki Tsunoda by the time the chequered flag came out.
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