Fighting Ferrari has been massive challenge: Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates his third place after completing the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Monza racetrack Italy Sunday Sept. 3 2017

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates his third place after completing the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Monza racetrack Italy Sunday Sept. 3 2017

Team mechanics for Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany move his vehicle into the team garage during the first practice session at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit Singapore, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.

Daniel Ricciardo continued Red Bull's strong start to the Singapore Grand Prix weekend by leading the second Formula 1 practice session under the lights at Marina Bay on Friday night.

Two months on and Mercedes, armed with lots more knowledge about what had now become a more controllable W08, were more of a threat on the twisty Hungaroring, but Ferrari still finished in formation at the front despite steering problems for Sebastian Vettel making the race a closer run thing than it probably would have been.

Earlier, the German driver had lost his lead to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in Monza and now trails by three points in the drivers' championship.

Hamilton says it's hard work to out-perform rivals Ferrari: "To finally be in the lead of both the Drivers' and Contructors' Championships is super exciting".

I've gone back through the previous races and tried to establish the correlation between those factors and the performance that we've seen.

In the session the last 90 minutes, Ricciardo registered the fastest lap (1:42.489) during his second flying lap on his second set of ultra-soft tyres.

Sandwiched in between was Sebastian Vettel while Lewis Hamilton was fourth. Who will come out on top?

Not to be forgotten, looming somewhere behind them, charges Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull.

If their vehicle is truly superior to the W08 EQ Power+ on circuits where downforce is heavily leant upon, then it won't be just Singapore at which Ferrari must excel; but in Malaysia, Austin and Abu Dhabi too. He is now second in the standings on 235 points, just three points behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

His fallout with childhood friend, last season's teammate and F1 champion Nico Rosberg, has been well documented.

Hamilton and Vettel have both been on pole three times in Singapore.

"We got it, another step, I think we can get another half a step out of it, that's what I'm looking for".

"I'm not yet happy, missing a bit the balance, then you miss a bit the confidence".

Reigning world champions Mercedes AMG are certainly not getting their hopes high ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, admitting ahead of the race that it will be "more hard".

But Bottas said he now had the opportunity to nail down a spot with Mercedes with his performances this year and next season.

"I really want to make the most out of the end of the year and I always set my targets very high, so third is not one of them".

Mercedes have already admitted they could sacrifice Bottas, now 41 points behind Hamilton in the standings, to help his team-mate's title charge, just as Ferrari have been doing with Raikkonen.

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