Singapore GP: Hamilton & Verstappen streak ahead in Practice 2

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The expected battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen took shape as the pair dominated Practice 2 at the Singapore Grand Prix.

As all teams completed their first lower fuel runs on soft tyres at the same time it finally led to an initial indication of where the top three teams stand at Marina Bay.

And it was Hamilton and Mercedes who led the way with a 1m38.773s, with a rapid final sector enough to put the world champion almost two-tenths clear of Verstappen's Red Bull.

Nobody else could get close to the pair with Sebastian Vettel eight-tenths back from Hamilton in third for Ferrari, setting his best time on the third flying lap using the soft C5 rubber.

After his crash in the first session, Valtteri Bottas was over a second down on the leading duo in fourth for Mercedes, fractionally ahead of Alex Albon in the second Red Bull.

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It wasn't an easy session for the Thai driver though as he hit the barrier during an initial run on the hard compound, locking up on the approach to Turn 10 and losing his front wing after a gentle biff.

Charles Leclerc was another driver lacking laps after a gearbox issue in Practice 1, and the Monegasque brought up the top six places as four-tenths covered P3-P6.

Battle lines were also drawn at the head of the midfield with McLaren and Nico Hulkenberg's Renault leading the charge.

Carlos Sainz was 'best of the rest' in seventh for the Woking-based team, almost two-tenths clear of the German, who was fractionally ahead of Lando Norris in the second papaya machine.

Once again, it was the two Toro Rosso's showing promise by rounding out the top 10, with Pierre Gasly ahead of teammate Daniil Kvyat.

Daniel Ricciardo heads into the weekend under pressure to up the pace, as the Australian was 11th for the second straight session, half a second slower than Renault partner Hulkenberg.

The two Racing Point's and Alfa Romeo's will also look to progress forward after filling P12-P15.

Towards the back, the two Haas' were split by George Russell's Williams in 18th, with the Briton almost 0.8s faster than teammate Robert Kubica.

Concluding back at the front though, and while there was little to choose between Hamilton and Verstappen over a single lap, it was very much advantage Lewis in the long run over the final 30 minutes.

The world champion was consistently faster than the Red Bull by a big margin, though it did come with increased tyre wear as his softs "fell apart" after 17 laps.

In the heat and humidity, teammate Bottas also reported temperature issues, much like those Mercedes had back in Austria so it will fascinating to see if the performance evens up on Sunday.

Full results from second practice at Marina Bay can be seen below:

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