Lewis Hamilton finishes on top for Mercedes in second Russian Grand Prix practice
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 28, 2018 Updated: 11:36 AM PT
SOCHI, Russia — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took the top spot ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas in the second Friday practice session for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s solid afternoon performance may show the reigning champion could have Mercedes machinery dialed in for Saturday's qualifying.
“We’ve brought more upgrades this weekend; there’s so much work going on at home and it’s just really encouraging when you come to a race and you get an upgrade, knowing that this late in the season we’re also already working on next year’s car – it motivates me to get the best out of everything. It’s been a good day for us, so let’s hope that it continues tomorrow,” said Hamilton.
Bottas finished 0.199s behind Hamilton as he completed the one-two for Mercedes.
Max Verstappen, who remained consistent staying inside the top three in for the afternoon session, finished 0.442s off Hamilton’s time with all three drivers posting their fastest time on the hyper soft tire.
Daniel Ricciardo finished 0.017s behind his teammate in fourth followed by Sebastian Vettel, who topped the morning for Ferrari, finished fifth in the afternoon after dealing with traffic which hindered his time on track and spin during the session at Turn 13.
The contrasts between the morning and afternoon sessions were reflected by Vettel at the end of the day.
“Today it was difficult to put the laps together, we went through the tires too fast, especially the front left, and struggled a bit with both the fast laps and with fuel on board. There was also a lot of traffic and obviously this never helps. Now we have some work to do, as we need to find the reasons for that and come back stronger,” said Vettel.
Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished sixth with the Force India of Sergio Perez in seventh. Pierre Gasly split the Force Indias in eighth ahead of the second Force India of Esteban Ocon in ninth.
Marcus Ericsson ended the day with an impressive result for Sauber in tenth. Kevin Magnussen finished outside the top ten for Haas in 11th while Carlos Sainz ended the afternoon in 12th for Renault.
The Ferrari bound Charles Leclerc took 13th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg finishing 14th in the second Renault. Magnussen’s Haas teammate Romain Grosjean finished 15th with the second Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley in 16th.
The McLaren pair of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne end the day 17th and 18th and were followed by the Williams’ of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll at the bottom of the order in 19th and 20th.