Daniil Kvyat bounced back from an issue on his car earlier in the day to finish as the fastest driver in the second free practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday night.
Red Bull has struggled to match Mercedes or Ferrari at the front of the field in Formula 1 so far this season, but Kvyat gave the team a boost by topping the timesheets in FP2.
It marked the first time that Red Bull has led a session in 2015, and the team was run close by Ferrari as Mercedes struggled for pace on the super-soft tire.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had swept to another one-two finish for Mercedes earlier in the day on the soft compound tire, but they could not repeat this performance when they switched to the quicker super-soft Pirellis under the lights in FP2.
Kvyat produced a fastest lap of 1:46.142 to edge out Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by 0.039 seconds as Red Bull’s qualifying simulation run proved too quick for the Italian marque to handle.
This pace was underpinned by Daniel Ricciardo in the sister Red Bull car as he finished third fastest, beating Hamilton as the world champion was forced to settle for fourth overall.
Sebastian Vettel finished fifth in the second Ferrari, three-tenths of a second down on Kvyat’s time at the front, while Force India’s Sergio Perez was sixth in the updated B-spec car.
Rosberg failed to match his first-place finish in FP1, ending up seventh overall for Mercedes. Fernando Alonso produced a fine lap in his ailing McLaren-Honda to finish eighth, beating Nico Hulkenberg and Max Verstappen who rounded out the top ten.
Although it is hard to read too much into the FP2 results in Singapore, the early signs are that Mercedes will not have it all its own way in qualifying on Saturday.
Red Bull’s biggest weakness in 2015 has been straight line speed and power, but the chassis remains solid, as proven by the pace of the RB11 around the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Having scored just one podium finish apiece thus far in 2015, Kvyat and Ricciardo will be hoping to translate their good practice form into a strong result in the race on Sunday.
Further down the order, American driver Alexander Rossi only got out for some basic running towards the end of FP2 as Manor spent the majority of the session fixing his car after his shunt earlier in the day. He finished 19th overall ahead of teammate Will Stevens, whose brought out a red flag after hitting the wall early on.
Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 9am ET on Saturday.