Nico Rosberg was fastest in the second practice session for this weekends Singapore Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver was just over a quarter of a second faster than the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Rosberg set his fastest time on the ultra-soft tyres but it was a difficult session for his team-mate Lewis Hamilton who had a technical problem. Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari all look very close as the gap between Raikkonen and Verstappen was a couple of tenths.
Hamilton looked strong early in the session topping the times before he had a “small hydraulic issue” and after investigating the problem, the team said it could not be resolved in time to get the car back together and called an end to his session.
This also puts him on the back foot at a race he will want to do well at as it could be a pivotal weekend for his title fight with Rosberg.
For Rosberg it wasn’t ideal either he has concerns over his brakes in the last few minutes of the session. Singapore is one of the more demanding circuits with high break wear due to the temperatures. Also earlier he clipped the wall and spun at Turn 11 before re-joining and setting the quickest middle sector to finish fourth.
Daniel Ricciardo was another driver who also clipped the wall at turn 11 spending some time in the pits. When he re-joined the Australian set the fastest middle sector in the Red Bull finishing fourth.
McLaren had been targeting this weekend to be the best of the mid field and there was some sign of improvement with Fernando Alonso setting the ninth quickest time. But the Spaniard was behind the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.
Williams had a low-key session, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas 14th and 15th respectively. Haas’s Romain Grosjean caused damaged to his rear wing after spinning into the wall which caused significant damage to his rear wing.
The Frenchman failed to complete a qualifying simulation.