Hamilton back on top in Russia FP2

Lewis HamiltonMercedes’ Lewis Hamilton moved to the head of the timesheets in Friday’s second practice in Russia, as suspected electrical problems on his Ferrari ended Sebastian Vettel’s running just half an hour into the 90-minute session.

Vettel finished second nonetheless, with FP1 pacesetter Nico Rosberg third in the sister Mercedes, 0.8s behind his team mate. Fourth place went to the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

After struggling in Rosberg’s wake all morning, Hamilton brought some ‘Hammertime’ to the Sochi Autodrom as the world champion got things together on the soft-compound Pirelli tyres to set the initial pace with 1m 38.311s ahead of Rosberg on 1m 38.450s and Vettel on 1m 38.921s.

The Englishman’s runs were not without incident, though, as he ran wide at Turn 7 and then spun at Turn 4.

At the half-hour mark Ferrari switched to the supersofts and saw Vettel temporarily go fastest with 1m 38.235s. However, while trying to improve on that the SF16-H rolled to a halt by the pit wall when the German’s electronics cut out. The virtual safety car was deployed as the red car was wheeled away.

Thereafter, Hamilton blasted his rivals with a blistering lap of 1m 37.583s on the red-banded tyres to undercut Vettel by 0.652s. He subsequently failed to improve, as did Rosberg, before they moved on to race runs.

Raikkonen was a disappointing half a second off Vettel’s pace, as the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat sandwiched Valtteri Bottas’ Williams. Jenson Button in the lead McLaren, Felipe Massa in the second FW38, and Fernando Alonso in the sister McLaren completed the top 10.

Again, the green track caught out many; besides Hamilton, both Manors spun, Romain Grosjean half spun his Haas, and Rosberg, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Jolyon Palmer, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr and Carlos Sainz all had harmless off-track excursions.

Russian Grand Prix Second Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:37.583 Leader Leader 30
2 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:38.235 -0.652 -0.652 10
3 6 Nico Roseberg 1:38.450 -0.867 -0.215 37
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:38.793 -1.210 -0.343 35
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:39.084 -1.501 -0.291 34
6 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:39.185 -1.602 -0.101 42
7 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:39.193 -1.610 -0.008 32
8 22 Jenson Button 1:39.196 -1.613 -0.003 31
9 19 Felipe Massa 1:39.289 -1.706 -0.093 38
10 14 Fernando Alonso 1:39.400 -1.817 -0.111 30
11 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:39.465 -1.882 -0.065 37
12 33 Max Verstappen 1:39.501 -1.918 -0.036 30
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:39.795 -2.212 -0.294 31
14 11 Sergio Perez 1:39.867 -2.284 -0.072 38
15 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:40.193 -2.610 -0.326 41
16 8 Romain Grojean 1:40.260 -2.677 -0.067 24
17 21 Esteban Gutierrez 1:40.508 -2.925 -0.248 26
18 30 Jolyon Palmer 1:40.688 -3.105 -0.180 37
19 12 Felipe Nasr 1:40.740 -3.157 -0.052 31
20 88 Rio Haryanto 1:41.080 -3.497 -0.340 38
21 94 Pascal Wehrlein 1:41.148 -3.565 -0.068 23
22 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:41.652 -4.069 -0.504 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

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