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Lap records shattered in Singapore F1 practice as Red Bull takes 1-2 in FP2

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Lap records shattered in Singapore F1 practice as Red Bull takes 1-2 in FP2
Sep 15, 2017, 3:14 PM

Red Bull took a one-two in the second Free Practice session of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix as Daniel Ricciardo led both of Friday's practice...

Red Bull took a one-two in the second Free Practice session of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix as Daniel Ricciardo led both of Friday's practice sessions, eventually setting a lap record.

Ricciardo led FP1 with a time of 1m42.489 seconds on ultra-soft tyres earlier on Friday – a tenth over Ferrrari's Sebastian Vettel – before going on to top the timesheets of FP2 with a lap record of 1m40.852s.

Max Verstappen finished second, off the pace by 556s, and Lewis Hamilton third with 0.703s between him and Ricciardo.

A number of drivers, including Vettel, Jolyon Palmer and Verstappen, hit the walls of the tight Marina Bay circuit. Lap times were four seconds faster than last year's on average and the 2016 pole time of 1m42.584s was beaten by the top six.

The ultra-soft tyres held up better this year than in 2016, without the overheating issues of last year and more grip in the testing third sector, where cars gained around half a second over 2016's flying laps.

Most of the field began FP2 on super-soft tyres and the Red Bulls led the charge as Verstappen and Ricciardo swapped places throughout the first 30 minutes of the session at the top.

It was Verstappen who set the fastest time on super-softs with a flying effort of 1m42.077s, 0.089s ahead of team-mate Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton was third fastest in the first 30 minutes of FP2, four tenths behind Verstappen but the Mercedes championship leader was on the soft tyre – a reason sign for the race ahead.

When ultra-softs were equipped with 55 minutes of the 90 minute session remaining, Hamilton set the first benchmark with a 1m41.555s but Ricciardo came back to beat that a minute later as he set a time of 1m41.228s.

The Australian improved to a 1m40.852s as times continued to tumble on an evolving surface which recovered from rain earlier on Friday and began to provide grip.

Hamilton eventually finished third, seven tenths off Ricciardo and more than a fifth ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who struggled both on super-softs and ultra-softs.

Behind Bottas, in fifth, was Renault's Nico Hulkenberg who finished 1.4s ahead of team-mate Palmer (14th). The McLarens took sixth and seventh with Stoffel Vandoorne ahead of Fernando Alonso.

The Ferraris hit trouble on their first ultra-soft laps to finish mid-table.

Vettel was fastest in sector one on his first flying lap and on course for a personal best in the following sector, but he aborted as a Sauber blocked him in sector three.

On his second attempt, he hit the wall at Turn 10 and knocked an advertising board onto the track, also triggering a Virtual Safety Car; FP2's table was ultimately unrepresentative of Ferrari's pace at face value but the team's long-run pace was as promising as Red Bull's.

Raikkonen finished the session ninth, behind Force India's Sergio Perez and ahead of Esteban Ocon in 10th as 2.202s split the top 10.

Vettel equipped soft tyres after that tap with the wall and began a race simulation on a high fuel load. He ended the session 11th, and Vettel has now not led FP2 since the Monaco GP in May, eight races ago.

Mercedes' place in third and fourth could well be upended by Ferrari as Mercedes has a long wheelbase car with a lack of downforce compared to the Scuderia.

Furthermore, in recent races, the driver leading FP2 has won only once in the last seven races: Hamilton at Spa-Francorchamps. Red Bull's spot at the summit will face further assaults on Saturday.

Finishing 15th and 16th with Felipe Massa leading, Williams struggled again in similar trim as that equipped in Hungary, where the pair finished 17th and 19th through Lance Stroll and Paul di Resta, respectively.

The Haas pair lead by Kevin Magnussen followed in 17th and 18th place, while the Saubers – with Pascal Wehrlein ahead – duly filled out the bottom two spots of the FP2 leaderboard.

Will Red Bull carry on its performance to FP3 and qualifying? Have your say in the comment section below.

FP2 Results:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

LAPS

1

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m40.852s

-

33

2

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1m41.408s

0.556s

28

3

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m41.555s

0.703s

36

4

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

1m42.104s

1.252s

35

5

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

1m42.448s

1.596s

33

6

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

1m42.501s

1.649s

34

7

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1m42.788s

1.936s

32

8

Sergio Perez

Force India

1m42.826s

1.974s

35

9

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m42.835s

1.983s

30

10

Esteban Ocon

Force India

1m43.054s

2.202s

34

11

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m43.104s

2.252s

33

12

Carlos Sainz Jr

Toro Rosso

1m43.236s

2.384s

38

13

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

1m43.608s

2.756s

32

14

Jolyon Palmer

Renault

1m43.795s

2.943s

32

15

Felipe Massa

Williams

1m43.836s

2.984s

32

16

Lance Stroll

Williams

1m44.301s

3.449s

32

17

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1m44.417s

3.565s

32

18

Romain Grosjean

Haas

1m44.928s

4.076s

29

19

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

1m45.673s

4.821s

34

20

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1m45.721s

4.869s

35

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