Rosberg tops Singapore practice as Hamilton struggles

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain signs an autograph for a fan as he arrives at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit Singapore, Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
Yong Teck Lim/AP

SINGAPORE (AP) Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in practices for the Singapore Grand Prix, while Mercedes teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton could manage only seventh and a hydraulic failure on Friday.

Rosberg, who has won the past two races and trails Hamilton by only two points, recovered from a crash into a tire barrier in the first session at the Marina Bay street circuit.

He was a quarter of a second faster than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen a close third.

The presence of Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull in close proximity at the top of the timesheets promises a hard-fought qualifying session on Saturday.