Formula 1

Hamilton fights back to top FP2 timesheets in Russia

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After Nico Rosberg topping the time sheets in FP1, Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Lewis Hamilton has fought back to go fastest in the second practice session for the 2016 Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom.

The Briton set a fastest lap time of 1m37.583s to finish 0.652s ahead Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel, it wasn’t easy for the reigning champion though as he suffered a spin in Turn 4 in the first half of the session. Vettel was having a promising run but lost power in his SF16-H, the car halted to a stop just before the start finish line. This led to a virtual safety car until marshals were able to move his car.

After a good start to the weekend, Nico Rosberg finished the session in third ahead of the Kimi Raikkonen. Australian Daniel Ricciardo took his Red Bull Racing RB12 in to the top five with a time of 1m39.084s, while an improving Valtteri Bottas finished the session for Williams Martini Racing in sixth ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat.

Jenson Button also showed some promise as he rounded out the session in eighth place for McLaren-Honda ahead of the Williams’ Felipe Massa. Fernando Alonso completed the top ten with a time of 1m39.400s.

Just missing out of the top ten was Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Carlos Sainz Jr who finished 0.036s ahead of his team-mate Max Verstappen.

For Nico Hulkenberg this was his first practice as Sahara Force India used FP1 to give track time to development driver Alfonso Celis Jr. The German driver finished ahead of team-mate Segio Perez in thirteenth. Behind Perez was Kevin Magnussen for Renault Sport, this was also his first practice as Renault handed the RS16 over to Sergey Sirotkin.

After finishing behind his Haas F1 team-mate in FP1, an unhappy Romain Grosjean finished the second session ahead of Esteban Gutierrez with a time of 1m40.260s. The Frenchman was heard on the radio saying “Guys there is something not working on the car since China, I don’t know what it is, but there is something not working…”.

Behind the Haas duo was the second Renault of Jolyon Palmer, who locked up coming into turn two earlier in the session, but managed to keep his car on track. Sauber‘s Felipe Nasr finished nineteenth with a brand-new chassis for the weekend. Rio Haryanto had a better practice session as he finished ahead of Manor Racing team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

Wehrlein suffered a spin early on in the session and then would later lose power as the chequered flag waved, despite this he still finished ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

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