Hamilton blitzes new Sochi track in practice

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of the Russian GP on top of the timesheets

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of the Russian GP on top

Lewis Hamilton set a blistering pace to top the opening day of practice for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver dominated the second 90 minute free practice session at the new Sochi street circuit to end the day eight tenths quicker than the rapidly improving McLaren of Kevin Magnussen.

Hamilton proved to be a cut above the rest in the session posting a personal best time of 1.39.630s on soft compound tyres, which was 0.864s faster than his nearest rival.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third while Hamilton’s title rival Nico Rosberg, who topped the opening free practice session, was fourth almost a second adrift of his Mercedes team-mate.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was fifth ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button and Felipe Massa.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo endured a session to forget with the Australian’s RB10 grinding to halt after losing power in the closing stages of FP2.

Smoke bellowed from the airbox as the 25-year-old clambered out of the car. He ended the session in 13th position overall.

With the Formula 1 circus under a cloud following Jules Bianchi’s horrific accident at the Japanese Grand Prix, Ricciardo admitted it was hard to focus on the task in hand.

“After what happened in Japan, you try and do the best you can,” said Ricciardo.

“I would be lying if I said other things weren’t on my mind, but you do what you can to make sure you’re 100 percent committed to driving and that’s the best way for our job and our headspace.

“It’s the best way, but it was tricky and not as easy as I expected.

“It was our last Friday with that engine, so it’s not a worry that she turned off at the end there.

“We tried a few settings and we’re not so fast here, the straights are long and we’re suffering a bit.”

The solitary Marussia of Max Chilton ended the session in 20th position.

Free Practice 2 Results

Position Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:39.630s 27
2 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes 1:40.494s 0.864s 32
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:40.504s 0.874s 32
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:40.542s 0.912s 30
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 1:40.573s 0.943s 33
6 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1:40.718s 1.088s 32
7 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:40.731s 1.101s 30
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:41.108s 1.478s 32
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1:41.396s 1.766s 30
10 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Renault 1:41.531s 1.901s 33
11 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:41.630s 2.000s 24
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 1:41.677s 2.047s 27
13 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault 1:42.061s 2.431s 25
14 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:42.090s 2.460s 29
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:42.233s 2.603s 31
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 1:42.892s 3.262s 30
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus Renault 1:42.905s 3.275s 33
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:43.055s 3.425s 33
19 Marcus Ericsson Caterham Renault 1:44.135s 4.505s 22
20 Max Chilton Marussia Ferrari 1:44.530s 4.900s 29
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Renault 1:44.952s 5.322s 27

Free Practice 1 Results

Position Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:42.311s 29
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:42.376s 0.065s 25
3 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1:42.507s 0.196s 28
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:42.720s 0.409s 27
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1:43.026s 0.715s 28
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:43.129s 0.818s 26
7 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1:43.164s 0.853s 29
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:43.212s 0.901s 23
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1:43.327s 1.016s 24
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:43.542s 1.231s 9
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:43.741s 1.430s 22
12 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:43.821s 1.510s 25
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:43.976s 1.665s 21
14 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1:44.506s 2.195s 30
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1:44.625s 2.314s 26
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1:44.876s 2.565s 26
17 Sergey Sirotkin Sauber/Ferrari 1:45.032s 2.721s 22
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1:45.190s 2.879s 25
19 Roberto Merhi Caterham/Renault 1:46.782s 4.471s 18
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham/Renault 1:46.922s 4.611s 18
21 Max Chilton Marussia/Ferrari 1:47.284s 4.973s 26



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