Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton came out on top at the second free practice session at the Manila Bay Street circuit. His time of 1 minute and 38.733 seconds placed him ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Sebastian Vettel finished in third place.

However, during the first round of the free practice session, Verstappen led while Vettel came second and Hamilton came in third place.

Verstappen’s time of 1 minute and 40.259s placed him in the lead. Both Vettel and Verstappen set the best laps on soft tires during the first session.

Hamilton began the first session on softs and moved to hard tires. He finished 0.666s off Verstappen.

The second practice session started well for the Ferrari team as Charles LeClerc and Vettel were the first to set times and the only drivers to do so within a time of 20 minutes.

Hamilton was the last one to set a time while his teammate Valterri Bottas then moved to the top of the standings. Hamilton finished with the best time despite a near-miss with Carlos Sainz’s McLaren.

LeClerc’s car suffered reliability problems as it appeared to be stuck in fourth gear. It had to be wheeled back to the garage with 30 minutes remaining.

The Monza GP winner ended the session at 19th as he failed to set a flying lap on soft tires. It was an unfortunate result for the team keen on testing their new barge board and nose for Singapore.

When it came to Mercedes, an unfortunate snap of oversteer ended Bottas’s session as he crashed into the barriers at Turn 19 just a few minutes after LeClerc was wheeled off. 

If the practice sessions were anything to go by, they predicted an excellent performance by Verstappen. He has been looking to get back into the race for the championship

Vettel also seems to have his form back and will definitely be a contender on Sunday.