New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

2015 Singapore GP: Red Bull takes the fight to Merc

2015-09-18 18:58

OUTPACING MERCEDES: Daniil Kvyat put Red Bull on top for the first time this season. Image: AP / Mark Baker

Singapore - Lewis Hamilton arrived in Singapore  on a mission to match his idol Ayrton Senna's 41 career race wins but he appeared to have a fight on his hands to reach that milestone after Friday practice.

The Mercedes driver has a 53-point lead with seven rounds remaining but hopes of dominating his rivals at the Marina Bay Street Circuit were dampened by the resurgent Red Bulls and competitive Ferraris.

While Hamilton's team mate and closest rival Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes one-two in the first session, both men were outpaced in the second as Daniil Kvyat put Red Bull on top for the first time this season.

Setting the pace

Kvyat lapped the 23-turn floodlit circuit in 1min46.142 to edge out Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari by just 0.039 seconds. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest after lapping in 1min46.256.

Hamilton was fourth, 0.337 seconds off the pace, while Rosberg languished in seventh place behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez's Force India.

As it happened: 2015 Singapore GP - Second practice

Red Bull, who with the exception of a double podium appearance in Hungary have endured a miserable season with their underperforming Renault engine, looked to have found real pace around the streets of Singapore.

Ferrari also looked up for the fight in the muggy Southeast Asian conditions with very little between the top three teams in terms of lap times over the longer, race simulation runs with heavy fuel loads.

Problem's Rosberg's 'drinks bottle'?

Rosberg complained over the radio that he had problems with his drinks bottle but he generally enjoyed a trouble-free first 90-minute session to lap more than a second faster than a year ago.

Hamilton, however, endured an erratic evening. He went off the track three times as he pushed his Mercedes to the limit at the start of his quest to emulate boyhood hero Senna's haul of race wins in the same number of starts (161).

Fortunately for the double champion, the mistakes occurred on parts of the track with run off areas with Vettel also venturing off in the first session after running wide at the quick Turn Five but stopping short of the barriers.

American rookie Alexander Rossi crashed as he prepared for his first weekend as a race driver for tailenders Manor Marussia after flying in at short notice to replace Spaniard Roberto Merhi for five of the remaining seven grands prix.

He completed 18 laps at the back of the field before losing control and slamming into the barriers after Turn 18, his broken Manor stranded and unable to continue as the session was halted with three minutes remaining.

He managed 20 minutes of action in his repaired Manor in the second session but only after team mate Will Stevens had crashed out early on.

2015 Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit:
Second practice results
1 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull - Renault 1min46.142
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min46.181
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault 1min46.256
4 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min46.479
5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min46.487
6 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1min46.659
7 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min46.781
8 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min46.959
9 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1min47.294
10 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min47.427
11 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min47.684
12 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber - Ferrari 1min47.755
13 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber - Ferrari 1min47.795
14 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min47.888
15 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min48.012
16 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Mercedes 1min48.096
17 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min48.118
18 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Mercedes 1min50.094
19 Alexander Rossi (US) Marussia - Ferrari 1min56.739
20 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 1min59.932

First practice

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix

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