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Sainz takes advantage of Red Bull struggles as Gasly escapes fire scare
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Sainz takes advantage of Red Bull struggles as Gasly escapes fire scare

Sainz takes advantage of Red Bull struggles as Gasly escapes fire scare

Sainz takes advantage of Red Bull struggles as Gasly escapes fire scare

Sainz takes advantage of Red Bull struggles as Gasly escapes fire scare

Carlos Sainz has provided Ferrari with hope it could end Red Bull's five-race winning streak by finishing fastest in second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Spaniard was quickest on both medium and soft tyres in the more representative night-time running at the Marina Bay circuit, finishing with a lap time of one minute 42.587secs.

Charles Leclerc again lost near half of the practice session after issues in the first hour but was able to recover, setting the second fastest time, two-tenths down on his team-mate.

Red Bull endured a difficult session with both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez consigned to the garage for the first 25 minutes of running. The Dutchman had to wait for set-up changes to be completed having complained about the RB18's compliance over kerbs in first practice.

When the reigning champion did return to the circuit, just three non-qualifying laps were completed before a trip back to the pits for more changes to the front suspension.

But Verstappen eventually regrouped to finish fourth, 0.339s down on Sainz.

Mercedes remain in the hunt despite being unable to replicate the session-topping speed from FP1, George Russell finishing ahead of Verstappen and team-mate Lewis Hamilton behind the two Ferraris.

Russell again struggled with driveability and almost had the same collision with the turn 11 barriers as he had earlier in the day.

Crucially for the Silver Arrows, the W13 was seemingly able to run lower to the ground after set-up changes between sessions.

The circuit's reputation as being one of the toughest challenges on the calendar was proven by a number of mishaps throughout the hour, Sebastian Vettel the first to run down an escape road.

Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas all followed, whilst Sergio Perez clipped the turn 19 exit wall, escaping without damage.

Frenchman Gasly survived a pit lane scare when his AlphaTauri was set on fire.

The AT03 was on its jacks and being wheeled back into the garage when flames erupted from the airbox, prompting a speedy exit from the cockpit for Gasly.

The fire was eventually put out by a quick-thinking Aston Martin mechanic, with the Silverstone-based team situated in the garage next to AlphaTauri.

Remarkably, Gasly returned to the track within 10 minutes with the power unit continuing unscathed.

Esteban Ocon finished sixth fastest for Alpine ahead of Bottas' Alfa Romeo and team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was the last driver to have finished within a second of Sainz.

Perez was 1.3s adrift in ninth, while Lance Stroll recovered from damage in FP1 to round out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

Lando Norris was the best performing McLaren in 11th whilst Daniel Ricciardo ended 18th, whilst Alex Albon continued his impressive return to action by finishing 16th, 1.409s faster than team-mate Nicholas Latifi who propped up the field.

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