Sochi, FP2: Hamilton heads Mercedes one-two
Verstappen 3rd, Ricciardo 4th
Lewis Hamilton headed a Mercedes one-two in second practice for the Russian Grand Prix, the FIA Formula 1 World Championship Drivers’ title leader beating team-mate Valtteri Bottas by just under two tenths of a second.
Hamilton, who comes into this weekend carrying a 40-point championship lead over chief rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, posted a time of 1:33.584 a third of the way through the session after bolting on a set of hypersoft compound tyres as the field set about qualifying simulations. The Briton’s time saw him finish 0.199s ahead of Bottas.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third fastest at the Sochi Autodrom, with the Dutch driver recording a best time of 1:33.827. That left him just under two hundredths of a second clear of fourth-placed team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, with both driver just over four tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace.
After opening his Sochi account with the fastest time of the morning session, Vettel slipped to fourth in the afternoon, his time of 1:33.928 leaving him 0.543s adrift of Hamilton on a circuit where Mercedes have never been beaten in the race. The German’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen took sixth place in the session, though the Finn ended up almost half a second behind Vettel and 1.003s down on the P1 pace.
Best of the rest status went to Racing Point Force India’s Sergio Perez, whose seventh-place time was over 1.7s off Hamilton table-topping time. The Mexican driver was separated from ninth-placed team-mate Esteban Ocon by Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly who edged his French compatriot by just one hundredth of a second.
Marcus Ericsson, who had made way for his 2019 Sauber replacement Antonio Giovinazzi in the morning session rounded out the top 10 with a good time of 1:35.295, 0.137s ahead of 13th-placed team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Kevin Magnussen finished in 11th place, four spots ahead of Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean. Carlos Sainz, who had given up his Renault to Russian tester Artem Markelov in the morning, ended his first session of the weekend in 12th place. Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg was 14th behind Leclerc and Grosjean, with Brendon Hartley 16th in the second Toro Rosso.
The final places were taken by the McLarens of 17th-placed Fernando Alonso and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, and then the Williams cars of local hero Sergey Sirotkin and Canada’s Lance Stroll, with the pairing more than three seconds off the pace.
|01||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:33.385||35|
|02||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:33.584||33|
|03||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Tag Heuer||1:33.827||32|
|04||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Tag Heuer||1:33.844||37|
|07||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:35.122||30|
|08||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:35.137||28|
|09||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:35.147||33|
|10||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:35.295||35|
|11||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:35.331||33|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Renault F1||1:35.341||37|
|13||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:35.432||32|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault F1||1:35.568||35|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:35.911||35|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:36.024||29|
|17||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:36.074||34|
|18||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:36.617||31|
|19||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:36.861||39|
|20||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:37.001||35|