Formula One championship: Mercedes Benz Driver Lewis Hamilton

/ 09:34 AM September 22, 2019

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Friday’s second practice at the Singapore Grand Prix in an early indication the Formula One championship leader will be tough to beat in Sunday’s race.

Hamilton set the fastest lap of 1 minute, 38.773 seconds, 0.184 seconds quicker than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who led the first practice session.
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who has gone 22 races without a win, was third.

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Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who recovered from hitting the wall in the first session, was fourth.

The crew for Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands pushes his car in pit lane during the first practice session at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Hamilton heads into the race with a 63-point lead over Bottas with seven races remaining.

While he already has eight wins this season, Hamilton hasn’t won since the Hungarian GP in early August.

On Sunday, Hamilton will be aiming for a repeat of the 2018 race here when he won comfortably from pole position to extend his championship lead.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco prepares for the first practice session at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Pole position is crucial at the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) Marina Bay street circuit as its one of the hardest tracks for overtaking in F1.
The driver leading the field has won eight times in the past 10 years.

Hamilton has won in Singapore for the last two years.

A victory in Sunday’s night race would move the Briton a step closer to his third straight championship and sixth.

Overall, moving him just one away from equaling Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of seven titles.

Charles Leclerc, who had a gearbox issue in first practice, was sixth behind Red Bull’s Alexander Albon.

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Ferrari driver Leclerc is on a roll having won the previous two races.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car back to his garage during the first practice session at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr. was seventh fastest, almost two tenths clear of Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg in the eighth.

Lando Norris took ninth for McLaren, lapping two tenths slower than Sainz, with Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 10 on the Formula One championship.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain pulls out of his garage during the second practice session at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

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TAGS: F1, Formula One championship, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz, sports
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