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Lewis Hamilton edges Max Verstappen in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton edges Max Verstappen in Singapore
© Reuters
The Brit is bidding for a hat-trick of victories there.

Lewis Hamilton edged out Max Verstappen to top second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Verstappen led the way in the opening running at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, but it was Hamilton's name at the summit by the conclusion of the night-time session.

Sebastian Vettel finished third for Ferrari, while Valtteri Bottas was fourth following his earlier crash.

Bottas' Mercedes mechanics performed a fine job to fix the Finn's damaged car to allow him to participate in the evening running.

Hamilton is bidding for a hat-trick of victories here on his unstoppable march towards a sixth world championship.

And the 34-year-old Briton appears in a good position to follow up his 2017 and 2018 triumphs with another win under the thousands of bulbs that light up the city-state venue.

Despite Hamilton's impressive Singapore record, the slow-speed track has been something of a bogey venue for his Mercedes team.

But the Silver Arrows look to be on top of the problems which have ensured they are not always the team to beat here.

On the evidence of practice, it could be a straight shootout between Hamilton and Verstappen after the Red Bull star finished 0.184 seconds off the pace.

Red Bull had been expected to run well this weekend, and in the hands of Verstappen, look poised to provide the greatest threat to Hamilton's chances.

Max Verstappen in the pits
Max Verstappen in the pits (Vincent Thian/AP)

Vettel was the only other driver within one second of Hamilton, but the German finished a full eighth tenths behind the Mercedes driver in his Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc arrived for the 15th instalment of the season as the sport's in-form driver following successive victories in Belgium and Italy.

But the Monegasque's weekend got off to an underwhelming start as a gearbox issue plagued his opening running before he finished only sixth later in the day.

Ferrari's powerful engine has less effect on the 23-corner street venue than the speedy Spa Francorchamps and Monza layouts, and Leclerc ended the day 1.2 secs down on Hamilton.

Alex Albon finished fifth for Red Bull, but a full second adrift of team-mate Verstappen.

The London-born Thai also broke his front wing after running straight on at Turn 10.

McLaren driver Lando Norris is racing in Singapore for the first time, and the British teenager finished an encouraging ninth, albeit two places and three tenths behind Carlos Sainz in the sister McLaren.

George Russell, also making his Singapore debut, was 18th for Williams.

Earlier, Hamilton's Mercedes team were fined £4,500 for a fuel breach during opening practice.

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Sebastian Vettel in action during Italian GP practice on September 7, 2019
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States25312379
Great BritainGreat Britain15181649
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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