Hamilton tops practice as Vettel hits trouble

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable margin over the field in Friday practice for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion set the pace in the early running before eventually lowering his personal best to a 1:37.583s on the super-soft tyres.

Hamilton’s run in Practice 2 was not without issue when a spin at Turn 4 in the early stages saw the Mercedes driver severely flat spot a set of soft compound tyres.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was the Brit’s nearest rival albeit 0.6s adrift with his best effort set on the super-soft rubber.

The four-time world champion had topped the times with an hour remaining before an electrical fault saw him come to a halt on the pit straight.

Vettel failed to return to the track for the remainder of the session having been wheeled back to the garage under a Virtual Safety Car period.

Morning practice pacesetter Nico Rosberg was third fastest 0.2s shy of Vettel, with the sister Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in fourth.

Both Ferrari drivers ran an upgraded engine during the two 90 minute sessions.

Daniel Ricciardo briefly trialled the 'aeroscreen' in opening practice

Daniel Ricciardo briefly trialled the ‘aeroscreen’ in opening practice

Daniel Ricciardo once again emerged as the best of the rest in fifth just 1.5s slower than Hamilton on the soft tyres.

The Red Bull driver grabbed the headlines in opening practice as he trialled the team’s ‘aeroscreen’ cockpit protection system.

The Australian completed a solitary installation lap with the device attached to his RB12.

The top 10 was completed by Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, local hero Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull), Jenson Button (McLaren), Felipe Massa (Williams) and Fernando Alonso (McLaren).

New Renault F1 test driver Sergey Sirotkin impressed on his debut with the team by recording the 13th fastest time in first practice.

The effort was almost 0.8s quicker than his team-mate Jolyon Palmer.

Haas F1 continued to struggle for pace with Romain Grosjean 16th and team-mate Esteban Gutierrez in 17th position.

Result: Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix Practice 2

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.583s 30
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.235s +0.652s 10
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.450s +0.867s 37
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.793s +1.210s 35
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:39.084s +1.501s 34
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:39.185s +1.602s 42
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:39.193s +1.610s 32
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:39.196s +1.613s 31
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:39.289s +1.706s 38
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:39.400s +1.817s 30
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:39.465s +1.882s 37
12 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:39.501s +1.918s 30
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:39.795s +2.212s 31
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:39.867s +2.284s 38
15 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:40.193s +2.610s 41
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:40.260s +2.677s 24
17 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1:40.508s +2.925s 26
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:40.688s +3.105s 37
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:40.740s +3.157s 31
20 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1:41.080s +3.497s 38
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1:41.148s +3.565s 23
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:41.652s +4.069s 29

Result: Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix Practice 1

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.127s 32
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.849s +0.722s 31
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:39.175s +1.048s 19
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:39.332s +1.205s 18
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:39.365s +1.238s 14
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:39.650s +1.523s 24
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:39.802s +1.675s 34
8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:40.218s +2.091s 26
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:40.287s +2.160s 22
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:40.654s +2.527s 21
11 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:40.663s +2.536s 19
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:40.771s +2.644s 18
13 Sergey Sirotkin Renault 1:40.898s +2.771s 24
14 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:41.085s +2.958s 21
15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:41.134s +3.007s 22
16 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1:41.238s +3.111s 18
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:41.385s +3.258s 20
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:41.671s +3.544s 25
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:41.962s +3.835s 22
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1:42.483s +4.356s 21
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1:42.687s +4.560s 8
22 Alfonso Celis Force India/Mercedes 1:43.432s +5.305s 23

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