Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes improved his time from the first practice session to top the time sheets in the second session on Friday, ahead of the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix in Portimao.

After a fifth place in the earlier run, Hamilton clocked 1 minute 19.873 seconds around the 4.684-kilometre Autodromo Internacional do Algarve to beat Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who was 0.143 seconds behind, reports DPA.

The Dutchman had a sensor issue earlier in the session but managed to get back on track.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas topped the first practice session but dropped to third in the second run.

Carlos Sainz was Ferrari’s best driver coming in fourth, while team-mate Leclerc was seventh.

Alpine cars also improved their times and came in fifth and sixth with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, respectively.

McLaren managed to have Daniel Ricciardo in eighth, while Imola podium finisher Lando Norris was 12th. Lance Stroll of Aston Martin and Sergio Perez of Red Bull made it to the top 10 on ninth and 10th place, respectively.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel finished 15th. In the first session, there was a curious moment involving the Aston Martin driver when he went into the wrong pitbox, dropping into the McLaren box instead.

“Sorry for that. Had to happen at some point,” he said over the radio after pulling up to where his former team Ferrari were positioned last season.

Rookie Mick Schumacher of Haas was three positions behind on 18th.

The final practice and qualifying race are on Saturday and the race takes place on Sunday.

–IANS

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