Lewis Hamilton led team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.081s as Formula 1 championship leaders Mercedes secured a comfortable one-two in FP2 ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel was the closest challenger to the Silver Arrows, albeit ending up 0.763s adrift of Hamilton’s benchmark pace in third.

As was the case in FP1, Hamilton and Bottas exchanged top spot during their short run evaluations.

After being compromised in the final sector by Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari on his first qualifying simulation attempt, Hamilton improved on his second lap to leapfrog ahead of the then timesheet topping Bottas.

Bottas soon returned to first place, despite aggressively bouncing over the kerb and displaying rally skills through the tight Nouvelle chicane on what was his third push lap on the soft tyre.

Despite picking up a flatspot after locking up and running into the run-off area at Ste. Devote, Hamilton recovered on his fourth qualifying effort to finally dethrone Bottas by 0.081s.

Alexander Albon, who spent a prolonged spell at the top of the timesheet in the opening 20 minutes of the session, ended up splitting the Red Bulls and propelling his Toro Rosso to an eventual fifth on the timesheet.

Pierre Gasly was less than a tenth faster than Albon in fourth.

Max Verstappen lost significant time in the garage, as his Red Bull developed a fault at the halfway mark in the session.

The Dutchman did return to the track in the closing stages but after running straight on at the Nouvelle chicane, he failed to improve on an earlier time which was only good enough for sixth place.

Kevin Magnussen ended up seventh, 1.056s adrift of Hamilton. The Alfa Romeo pairing was eighth and ninth, with rookie Antonio Giovinazzi leading Kimi Raikkonen.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc failed to post a representative qualifying simulation after flatspotting his soft tyres and rounded out the top 10.

His team-mate Vettel nearly nosed into the barriers at Ste. Devote during the long-run assessment, locking up late in the corner and just stopping before his front wing tagged the wall.

McLaren improved on its FP1 showing, with Lando Norris leading Carlos Sainz Jr in 12th and 13th.

Nico Hulkenberg was ahead of his Renault team-mate and 2018 Monaco Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo although both struggled to 16th and 17th, ahead of just Lance Stroll’s Racing Point and the Williams duo of George Russell and Robert Kubica.