Red Bull continued their strong start to the Singapore Grand Prix race weekend with Daniel Ricciardo finishing half a second ahead of Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo broke the track record at the Marina Bay circuit on his way to topping the FP1 timesheets and carried on in the same vain in FP2, setting a 1:40.852 on ultrasoft tyres. Verstappen was 0.556s behind in P2 and Lewis Hamilton, seven tenths off the pace on the same compound, rounded off the top three.
There were a whole host of announcements in between the end of the FP1 and the start of FP2 with McLaren finally divorcing Honda and switching to Renault power from next season, Toro Rosso signing a multi-year deal with Honda and Renault getting Carlos Sainz on a year-long loan as Jolyon Palmer's replacement as compensation for allowing the engine deals to happen.
But, as darkness descended and the spotlights beamed on the Marina Bay circuit, attention soon turned back to the dry, humid track with conditions now much more representative of what is to come in qualifying and the race itself.
As both Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton initially struggled to get to the grips with street circuit, Red Bull duo Ricciardo and Verstappen wasted little in trading blows at the top of the FP2 timesheets, setting new track records in the process.
The Mercedes pair began to narrow the gap to Red Bull, but both Mercs were on the quickest ultrasoft tyres as opposed to the supersofts that the Red Bull cars were initially using.
As soon as Ricciardo and Verstappen strapped on the ultras themselves, they immediately stretched out their advantage with Ricciardo going half a second clear of his team-mate at the halfway point.
Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were languishing down the field at this stage, but the latter in particular was having trouble putting a hot lap together after first being impeded by Marcus Ericsson and then hitting the Tecpro barrier on the exit of Turn 10.
The second half of FP2 was dedicated to long, high fuel runs with the unofficial average lap times set on ultrasofts as follows: Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:46.5; Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:46.9; Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:47.0; Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:48.3.
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:40.852 (US)
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:41.408 0.556 (US)
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.555 0.703 (US)
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:42.104 1.252 (US)
5 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:42.448 1.596 (US)
6 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:42.501 1.649 (US)
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:42.788 1.936 (US)
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:42.826 1.974 (US)
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:42.835 1.983 (US)
10 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:43.054 2.202 (US)
11 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:43.104 2.252 (S)
12 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:43.236 2.384 (US)
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:43.608 2.756 (US)
14 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:43.795 2.943 (US)
15 Felipe Massa Williams 1:43.836 2.984 (US)
16 Lance Stroll Williams 1:44.301 3.449 (US)
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:44.417 3.565 (US)
18 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:44.928 4.076 (US)
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:45.673 4.821 (US)
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:45.721 4.869 (US)