Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport one-two in the second free practice session at the Sochi Autodrom on Friday, while championship rival Sebastian Vettel could only manage the fifth fastest time.
Hamilton set the bar with a time of 1:33.385, which ended up being just under two-tenths of a second clear of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, while Aston Martin Red Bull Racing duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo interjected themselves into the Mercedes/Scuderia Ferrari battle, the Dutchman 0.442 seconds back and the Australian a further 0.017 seconds behind.
Vettel was the leading of the Ferrari duo in fifth, but the German will need to work hard overnight to get some more performance from his SF71H after ending more than half a second down on Hamilton’s time, while team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was more than a second down in sixth. Vettel also suffered a spin at the end of the back straight during his race simulation that saw him pit for fresh tyres immediately.
Sergio Pérez was the best of the rest in seventh for the Racing Point Force India F1 Team, 1.737 seconds off the pace, with the Mexican finishing just ahead of Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda’s Pierre Gasly and the other Force India of Esteban Ocon, the trio all within 0.025 seconds of each other.
In a week when he found out that he would not be driving for the team in 2019, Marcus Ericsson rounded out the top ten for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, 1.910 seconds back, with the Swede ending just ahead of Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen and Renault Sport Formula One Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
Charles Leclerc was just over two-seconds down on the pace in thirteenth in the second Sauber ahead of Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg and Haas’ Romain Grosjean, while Brendon Hartley was down in sixteenth for Toro Rosso.
Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will be disappointed to be down in seventeenth and eighteenth respectively for the McLaren F1 Team, while bringing up the rear were the two Williams Martini Racing drivers, home hero Sergey Sirotkin ahead of Lance Stroll.
Sochi Autodrom Free Practice 2 Result
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