Hamilton Shines On Opening Day At Sochi


Lewis Hamilton fired an ominous warning to championship rival Nico Rosberg by topping the timesheets by the best part of a second on the first official day’s running at the Sochi Autodrom. Rosberg had set the morning standard in his Mercedes but Hamilton struck back in the afternoon, lapping 0.864s quicker than nearest challenger Kevin Magnussen.

The inaugural Russian Grand Prix began in an understandably sombre atmosphere with thoughts still very much with Jules Bianchi who remains critically ill following his accident at Suzuka. Marussia announced prior to FP1 that they would compete, although Max Chilton would be their sole entrant.

The spectators in attendance did get to witness history in the opening session with Sergey Sirotkin taking part in a Grand Prix weekend for the first time. The Russian teenager performed admirably to finish seventeenth, just four tenths shy of his Sauber teammate Adrian Sutil, but the headlines were made by Mercedes as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton edged out the Mercedes-powered McLaren of Jenson Button.

Button continued to impress in the afternoon session, trading fastest times with Rosberg on the medium compound tyres but Kevin Magnussen soon overtook the pair of them after switching to the softs. The Dane’s 1:40.494 was the fastest time of the day so far but Hamilton raised the bar on his option tyre run, breaking into the 1:39s with apparent ease.

Hamilton ended the afternoon eight tenths clear of Magnussen with Fernando Alonso leapfrogging Rosberg into fourth with a late run on softs. Valtteri Bottas pushed Button down to sixth with the second Williams of Felipe Massa just 0.013s shy of the McLaren in seventh. The Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were eighth and tenth, sandwiching the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. The reigning constructors’ champions, for now at least, had an awful day with Daniel Ricciardo brought to a halt late on with an apparent power unit failure.

 

 2014 FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX – FRIDAY PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION
POS DRIVER TEAM BEST TIME
1 44  LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES 1:39.630 FP2
2 20  KEVIN MAGNUSSEN McLAREN MERCEDES 1:40.494 FP2
3 14  FERNANDO ALONSO FERRARI 1:40.504 FP2
4 6  NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES 1:40.542 FP2
5 77  VALTTERI BOTTAS WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:40.573 FP2
6 22  JENSON BUTTON McLAREN MERCEDES 1:40.718 FP2
7 19  FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:40.731 FP2
8 26  DANIIL KVYAT STR RENAULT 1:41.108 FP2
9 1  SEBASTIAN VETTEL RED BULL RACING RENAULT 1:41.396 FP2
10 25  JEAN-ERIC VERGNE STR RENAULT 1:41.531 FP2
11 7  KIMI RAIKKONEN FERRARI 1:41.630 FP2
12 27  NICO HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:41.677 FP2
13 3  DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL RACING RENAULT 1:42.061 FP2
14 11  SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:42.090 FP2
15 99  ADRIAN SUTIL SAUBER FERRARI 1:42.233 FP2
16 8  ROMAIN GROSJEAN LOTUS RENAULT 1:42.892 FP2
17 13  PASTOR MALDONADO LOTUS RENAULT 1:42.905 FP2
18 21  ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ SAUBER FERRARI 1:43.055 FP2
19 9  MARCUS ERICSSON CATERHAM RENAULT 1:44.135 FP2
20 4  MAX CHILTON MARUSSIA FERRARI 1:44.530 FP2
21 10  KAMUI KOBAYASHI CATERHAM RENAULT 1:44.952 FP2
22 37  SERGEY SIROTKIN SAUBER FERRARI 1:45.032 FP1
23 45  ROBERTO MERHI CATERHAM RENAULT 1:46.782 FP1