Hamilton leads the way after Friday practice sessions at Sochi

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton topped the standings after Friday’s two practice sessions for Sunday’s Formula 1 race in Russia.

The reigning world champion recorded a best time of 1:37.583, over half a second in front of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who was hit by electrical problems.

Nico Rosberg led the way after the first session but was forced to settle for third, 0.867 seconds behind his Mercedes teammate.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished in fourth place, with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo rounding off the top five.

Hamilton struggled to keep pace with Rosberg during the morning session, but gradually showed his quality despite suffering a couple of spins.

Vettel had set the fastest time 30 minutes into the second session, but the German suffered an electronics failure which forced him out.

Hamilton took full advantage on soft-compound Pirelli tires to roar ahead of Vettel and the rest of the field.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas finished sixth, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat in seventh.

Jenson Button in the lead McLaren, Felipe Massa (Williams) and Fernando Alonso (McLaren) completed the top ten.

Kvyat, Russia’s only current F1 driver, said on Thursday he was hoping for a strong showing from the Red Bull team in Sochi.

“Lately we have been competitive on most of the tracks – doesn’t really matter, any kind really, starting with Australia, Bahrain, China we always looked in quite good shape,” he said.

“I think Sochi also in the past for us maybe hasn’t been the easiest track, as a team, but now we are just coming to any track and we are just trying to extract everything the car has got and I believe also here we can fight for quite strong points.”

“We will do our best and I think the car is looking in great.

The 21-year-old collected his second ever podium in last outing in China two weeks ago.

Practice Two Results:

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:37.583
  2. Sebastian Vettel 1:38.235
  3. Nico Rosberg 1:38.450
  4. Kimi Raikkonen 1:38.793
  5. Daniel Ricciardo 1:39.084
  6. Valtteri Bottas 1:39.185
  7. Daniil Kvyat 1:39.193
  8. Jenson Button 1:39.196
  9. Felipe Massa 1:39.289
  10. Fernando Alonso 1:39.400