Practice 2: Ricciardo moves clear as Ferrari hit trouble in Singapore

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Daniel Ricciardo increased his advantage over the rest of the field to over half a second as Red Bull claimed a 1-2 in Practice 2 ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday.

The Australian completed the double with an impressive 1:40.852s on the Ultrasoft tyre, a 1.6-second improvement on the lap record he posted earlier in the day. It seemed his excellent pace also left teammate Max Verstappen flustered as he made a few errors but still took second.

What was also hugely positive for Red Bull was how their drivers could extract more performance from the tyres on the second and even the third flying lap in some cases. A stark contrast to some who are overheating the rears ad struggling for traction 

Mercedes were third and fourth but that flattered the Silver Arrows as Lewis Hamilton and particularly Valtteri Bottas didn't appear to have same grip and confidence in the twisty second and third sectors.

Nevertheless, the Briton was only a tenth slower than Verstappen and with the extra engine power in qualifying could still threaten the top three places.

On Friday evening, they attained P3 and P4 as Ferrari had quite the stinker of a session. Kimi Raikkonen was some two seconds off Ricciardo's pace in ninth, while Sebastian Vettel was held up by Marcus Ericsson's Sauber on his first flying lap and then bumped the TechPro barrier at Turn 10 on his second as he failed to set a low-fuel time on the purple-marked fastest rubber.

The German's dramas left him down in 11th and allowed the tight midfield battle to feature further up the order. After announcing their partnership after Practice 1, it was the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg that led the two McLarens of Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso in positions five-to-seven.

The Woking-based team is determined to make the most of their expected stronger pace and, though Alonso was seen scrambling for grip and touched the wall early on, both drivers are in a position to do exactly that.

Also strong are the two Force Indias with Sergio Perez once again highlighting his prowess on the streets of Marina Bay with a strong long run pace and beating Kimi Raikkonen to eighth. Teammate Esteban Ocon was only two tenths further back in 10th.

The two Toro Rossos can also expect a stronger weekend and they are in a position to pounce with Carlos Sainz, who now has a 2018 Renault deal confirmed, 12th and almost four tenths clear of Daniil Kvyat in 13th.

Jolyon Palmer, the man Sainz will replace, was 14th and then the order came two-by-two as both Williams' led both Haas' and the two Saubers completed the timesheets.

Felipe Massa, in 15th, highlighted the closeness of the midfield by only being 1.3 seconds slower than Hulkenberg in fifth and was half a second clear of teammate Lance Stroll, as the Canadian rookie made up for the lost running earlier.

Despite giving his car to Antonio Giovinazzi in Practice 1, Kevin Magnussen was also half a second ahead of teammate Romain Grosjean, highlighting the problems the Frenchman is dealing with.

Finally, at Sauber, where Pascal Wehrlein was fractionally clear of Ericsson but the Swiss team sat some eight-tenths off the rest of the field.

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