Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the second practice for the Russian Grand Prix.
The world champion was .7 of a second faster than the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and .9 faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton set his fastest time on the supersoft tyres which put him around seven tenths faster than the Ferrari. However Vettel’s session was cut short after an electronics failure in the Ferrari as the German was forced to pull up on the pit straight.
Vettel told Sky Sports “The balance was not quite where I wanted it to be, but the circuit should come our way. It was quite slippery. Lacking a bit of information from my side but other people did their homework and hopefully we can copy that a bit.”
Rosberg was unable to set a faster time on the quicker super-soft tyre and seemed to be caught in traffic. Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth.
Raikkonen pace was disappointing as he was half a second off Vettel’s pace, as the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat sandwiched Valtteri Bottas’ Williams.
Hamilton needs a good weekend if he is to start crawling back the points to Rosberg in the championship. He has been having difficulties with his car and has made a few mistakes on track this season.
But he did spin his Mercedes along with both the Manors, both Red Bull’s, Haas’s Romain Grosjean. Grosjean appeared to be struggling saying there “something is not working on the car” since the Chinese weekend a fortnight ago.
Mercedes once again appear to be in control as Ferrari having so far failed this season to convert that in qualifying and the race. But the question is whether Hamilton can manage to fight back against Rosberg.