Lewis Hamilton moves ahead in second Russian Grand Prix practice

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of Formula 1 practice for the Russian Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets

Lewis Hamilton moves ahead in second Russian Grand Prix practice

Having lost out to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg during the morning session, Hamilton outpaced the championship leader by 0.867 seconds in the afternoon, with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel splitting the duo in second despite losing track time to an electrical problem.

Hamilton was fastest from early on having outpaced Rosberg when both were on soft-compound Pirellis - although he did have a brief spin at Turn 4 that flat-spotted his tyres and sent him back to the pits. He had two harmless visits to the run-off area at the same corner later in the session.

When the Mercedes duo switched onto the faster super-softs, Hamilton was able to improve by around eight tenths to a 1m37.583s while Rosberg did not gain time.

This was partly because Haas driver Romain Grosjean spun and triggered a yellow-flag zone that Rosberg hit, but it meant the German's best lap on softs - reckoned to be eight or nine-tenths slower than the super-softs, but offering dramatically different pace gaps from car to car - remained his fastest until he headed out for his second run on softs and was only able to make a small improvement.

Vettel's best time was just under seven-tenths off Hamilton's pace, also using super-soft rubber and set before he ground to a halt on the start/finish straight with what he reported as an electrical problem.

The virtual safety car system was deployed to allow the recovery of the Ferrari, which did disrupt the runs of a number of drivers.

Kimi Raikkonen made it a Mercedes/Ferrari top-four lockout by setting fourth-fastest time, over three-tenths slower than Rosberg.

With nobody bothering to run the medium-compound Pirellis thanks to the low rates of degradation and wear, which meant teams have taken few sets to Sochi, drivers set their best times variously on soft and super-soft rubber.

Red Bull pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat ended up fifth and seventh overall, although the Australian's best time was set on the slower soft compound.

They sandwiched the lead Williams-Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who was 1.6s off the pace having used suer-softs to set his time in common with all but Rosberg and Ricciardo.

Jenson Button was eighth fastest for McLaren ahead of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

Renault's Kevin Magnussen made his first appearance of the weekend having sat out the morning session in favour of development driver Sergey Sirotkin and was 15th.

That put him two places behind the other driver who sat out practice one, Nico Hulkenberg, who took 13th after stepping aside for Alfonso Celis Jr to drive during the first session.

Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson was slowest, behind Manor pairing Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein, the latter grinding to a halt after the chequered flag and reporting a loss of power.

PRACTICE TWO TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.583s - 30
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m38.235s 0.652s 10
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.450s 0.867s 37
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m38.793s 1.210s 35
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m39.084s 1.501s 34
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m39.185s 1.602s 42
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m39.193s 1.610s 32
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m39.196s 1.613s 31
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m39.289s 1.706s 38
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m39.400s 1.817s 30
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m39.465s 1.882s 37
12 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m39.501s 1.918s 30
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m39.795s 2.212s 31
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m39.867s 2.284s 38
15 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m40.193s 2.610s 41
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m40.260s 2.677s 24
17 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m40.508s 2.925s 26
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m40.688s 3.105s 37
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.740s 3.157s 31
20 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m41.080s 3.497s 38
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m41.148s 3.565s 23
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.652s 4.069s 29

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