Kimi Räikkönen went quickest in the second practice session ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, though the Ferrari driver was just one hundredth of a second clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Räikkönen, who will move from Maranello squad to Sauber in 2019, set the pace in the early exchanges on ultrasoft Pirelli tyres, setting a best time of 1:40.510 to edge Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
When the field moved to hypersoft compound tyres for their qualifying simulations, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas jumped to top of the order before Hamilton bypassed him with a time of 1:38.710.
The Ferrari pairing of Räikkönen and Vettel had yet to complete their runs, however, and when they did it was Monza pole-position man Räikkönen who took top spot, 0.011s ahead of Hamilton.
Vettel might have deposed his team-mate but an error on his lap saw him hit the wall as he exited Turn 21. The impact damaged the right-hand side of ther German’s car but he was able to drive back to the pits. He did not return to the action, however, and without a quali sim to his name, Vettel finished the session in ninth place.
In the earlier session Red Bull Racing had annexed the top two spots, running on hypersofts, but in the second session their qualifying simulations saw both drivers finish more than half a second off the pace, with Max Vestappen to the fore in third place with a time of 1:39.22 and Daniel Ricciardo a tenth further back in fourth place.
Verstappen’s session was also hampered by a mechanical problem, with the Dutch reporting an engine issues on the exit of the Turn 7. He later told the team that the problem was persistent.
Behind Ricciardo, Bottas finished in sixth place, just under six hundredths of a second off the pace of the Australian.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz was next, though his seventh place was secured with a lap nine tenths of a second off the pace of Bottas and almost 1.6s behind Räikkönen. Eighth place in the session went to McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, just under two tenths faster than Vettel, while Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10 in the second Renault.
2018 Singapore Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 35 1:38.699
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20 1:38.710 0.011
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 28 1:39.221 0.522
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 33 1:39.309 0.610
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 33 1:39.368 0.669
6 Carlos Sainz Renault 36 1:40.274 1.575
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 33 1:40.384 1.685
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren 31 1:40.459 1.760
9 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 12 1:40.633 1.934
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 35 1:40.668 1.969
11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Force India 30 1:40.774 2.075
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 37 1:40.812 2.113
13 Esteban Ocon Racing Point Force India 33 1:40.870 2.171
14 Charles Leclerc Sauber 37 1:41.062 2.363
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 32 1:41.154 2.455
16 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 32 1:41.164 2.465
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 38 1:41.542 2.843
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 36 1:41.615 2.916
19 Lance Stroll Williams 17 1:42.141 3.442
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 36 1:42.181 3.482