Lewis Hamilton has ended Friday’s second Free Practice session on top of the timesheets as his rivals hit trouble in preparation for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.
The Mercedes driver, who posted a lap of 1:37.583 on the Super Soft tyres, was six-tenths of a second clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The German also set his fastest time on the Super Soft but ground to a halt on the start/finish straight just half an hour into the 90-minute session in with apparent electrical problems.
Hamilton’s teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg, fastest in this morning’s session, was third quickest but had potentially quicker times ruined by traffic on the circuit. He finished nine-tenths down on Hamilton and three-tenths ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen.
Red Bull Racing was on good form. Daniel Ricciardo was fifth-quickest and teammate Daniil Kvyat was just two-tenths slower. The pair sandwiched Williams’ Valtteri Bottas in sixth, while the Finn’s teammate Felipe Massa managed ninth-fastest, seemingly running a different programme to Bottas in this session.
McLaren rounded up the top ten with Jenson Button eighth-fastest, posting a 1:39.196, while Fernando Alonso was one spot and 0.204 seconds behind the Briton.
Scuderia Toro Rosso and Force India continued the ‘Noah’s Ark’ pattern as Carlos Sainz once again edged Max Verstappen, while Nico Hülkenberg resumed driving duties and posted the thirteenth-fastest time ahead of last year’s Russian podium-winning teammate Sergio Pérez.
Kevin Magnussen returned to his Renault after Sergey Sirotkin drove in FP1 to go fifteenth-fastest, outpacing teammate Jolyon Palmer in 18th. The Renaults sandwiched the Haas cars of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez in 16th and 17th respectively. Grosjean feared that the problems he faced in China have not yet been resolved, complaining of “something wrong” with his car over the pit-to-car radio.
Sauber and Manor Racing occupied the last four spots on the timing screens some three to four seconds off the pace, with the Swiss team’s duo of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson sitting either side of Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein (whose car stopped towards the end of the session).
Drivers were busy making their race simulations with the Super Soft lasting around 15 laps and the Softs around 25 on the ultra-smooth track surface, This could make a one-stop strategy a very viable solution in Sunday’s race.
|2016 FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE 2 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid||1:37.583||30|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H||+ 0.652||10|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid||+ 0.867||37|
|4.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H||+ 1.210||35|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12||+ 1.501||34|
|6.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||+ 1.602||42|
|7.||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12||+ 1.610||32|
|8.||Jenson Button||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||+ 1.613||31|
|9.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||+ 1.706||38|
|10.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||+ 1.817||30|
|11.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||+ 1.882||37|
|12.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||+ 1.918||30|
|13.||Nico Hulkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||+ 2.212||31|
|14.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||+ 2.284||38|
|15.||Kevin Magnussen||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||+ 2.610||41|
|16.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16||+ 2.677||24|
|17.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16||+ 2.925||26|
|18.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||+ 3.105||37|
|19.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||+ 3.157||31|
|20.||Rio Haryanto||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||+ 3.497||38|
|21.||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||+ 3.565||23|
|22.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||+ 4.069||29|
Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas