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From Russia With Pace – Hamilton Impresses at Sochi

Hamilton Wins Russia’s FP2 by Nearly a Second

Finishing 0.065seconds behind teammate and session winner Nico Rosberg in Sochi’s first free practice session on Friday, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton blitzed the opposition to win FP2 by an impressive 0.864seconds.

Rosberg Only 4th in Russia’s FP2

Despite winning Sochi’s FP1, Mercedes driver and championship contender Nico Rosberg could only finish a surprisingly low 4th in FP2. The German had a lot to say on the matter, stating:

“That was a very productive day from an engineering point of view. The team decided to go two different ways in terms of setup. I took a very creative setup for my car in the second practice session, which didn’t work out. So we will go back to the conservative way for tomorrow, because we saw that Lewis was very quick with that. The track is really cool to drive, very enjoyable. Turn three is a very special one and the asphalt is very smooth, so the tyres last long. We won’t see that many pit stops on Sunday, I guess. That’s a bit surprising to me.”

Marussai to Run Just One Car in Russian GP

Out of respect for hospitalised driver Jules Bianchi – who remains in a critical but stable condition after crashing into the tractor that was removing Adrian Sutil’s Sauber off the Suzuka track in last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix – Marussia will only enter Max Chilton’s car in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.

Button Continues Impressive Recent Form

Unlucky not to make the podium in last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, McLaren driver Jenson Button continued his recent strong on-track form by recording 4th in FP1 and 6th in FP2. The Briton’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen also impressed with 5th and 2nd place finishes on Russia’s Sochi track.

So-So Day for Williams

Williams’ Felipe Massa spoke how the first day was always a learning curve, and this was evidenced by he and colleague Bottas improving from respective 11th and 10th place finishes in FP1 to 7th and 5th in Russia’s FP2, but Sir Frank Williams’ team still performed below expectations on a track that should suit their car.

Engine Failure for Ricciardo as Red Bull Finish Off the Pace

Suffering engine failure towards the end of Russia’s second free practice session, Daniel Ricciardo’s day finished early after the session was red flagged. Finishing an overall 12th and 13th in FP1 and 2 respectively, the Australian’s misfortune capped off a miserable day for Red Bull, with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel only able to record 14th and 9th in the same sessions.

Two Top Ten Finishes For Home Hero Kvyat in Russia

With his teammate, Jean-Eric Vergne, attaining 9th and 10th place finishes in Sochi’s Friday practice sessions, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat’s recorded 7th and 8th in FP1 and 2 respectively – to the delight of an adoring home crowd. Despite having the same engine as sister team Red Bull, the Toro Rosso car seemed better suited to the Sochi track.

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