Hamilton tops FP2 as night falls in Singapore

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Lewis Hamilton has made an impressive start to his Singapore Grand Prix weekend on Friday night by finishing fastest in the second practice session at Marina Bay.

The British driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:47.490 to finish less than two-tenths of a second clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who continued to impress after topping the first session on Friday afternoon in Singapore.

Nico Rosberg was less fortunate in the sister Mercedes, finishing down in 13th place after a red flag interrupted his fast run following Pastor Maldonado’s crash at the halfway point in the session. The Lotus driver binned his car down at turn 10 under braking, leaving the team with plenty of work to do overnight.

Sebastian Vettel’s session was also hampered by a problem which occurred at the end of FP1. An engine failure forced Red Bull into a frantic repair job, and he was only able to get out on track in the final 10 minutes of the session. He soon proved his pace though, finishing fifth behind Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button put in some good times to make McLaren the second-best Mercedes-powered team on Friday in Singapore, finishing FP2 in sixth and seventh place respectively. Force India’s Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were classified eighth and ninth at the flag, with Daniil Kvyat rounding out the top ten for Toro Rosso.

Hamilton’s pace will certainly give him a boost heading into FP3 and qualifying on Saturday, but Rosberg cannot be underestimated despite this poor result. With Ferrari and Red Bull also in close company, Mercedes faces a fight for supremacy under the lights in Singapore that should make for a thrilling race.

You can watch tomorrow’s sessions live on Live Extra and CNBC. Click here for more information on NBC Sports’ broadcasting of the Singapore Grand Prix.