Hamilton comfortably clear in FP2


Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time during second practice for the Russian Grand Prix as the new circuit at Sochi continued to pose a challenge for the drivers. Hamilton was 0.864s clear of Kevin Magnussen in second place after Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg messed up his flying lap by running wide at Turn 17. Rosberg missed his braking point and ran straight on but kept the car under control, ruining his chance to register a quick lap but causing no real damage to his chances this weekend. The mistakes are likely to thin out as the weekend goes on and track conditions improve, but the combination of kinked high-speed straights and big stops at Turns 2 and 13 looks set to be the biggest challenges this weekend. McLaren continued its impressive form from the morning as Kevin Magnussen finished best of the rest. Magnussen and Jenson Button had both exchanged times at the top of the timesheets with the Mercedes drivers during the medium tyre runs earlier on in the session. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso put in his usual low-fuel Friday run to end up third fastest ahead of Rosberg, while Kimi Raikkonen finished the session down in 11th. Valtteri Bottas was the highest placed Williams in fifth while Jenson Button managed to round off an encouraging day for McLaren in sixth. Felipe Massa was seventh ahead of an impressive performance on home turf from Daniil Kvyat in eighth. Sebastian Vettel was ninth but made the same mistake as Rosberg at Turn 17 and so failed to set a clean fast lap. Daniel Ricciardo could only manage 13th and finished his session early when his Red Bull ground to a halt on the back straight and caused a red flag. With marshals waiting until the last car had returned to the pits before recovering the Red Bull, a wisp of smoke came from the airbox of the stationary car as temperatures soared under the engine cover. Jean-Eric Vergne set the 10th fastest time as the Toro Rossos look likely to find themselves in a battle with Force India for the final available places in the top ten this weekend. Behind them Sauber and Lotus appear set to fight over whatever scraps are left over by the teams ahead. The single Marussia of Max Chilton split the two Caterhams at the back of the field as Jules Bianchi's Marussia is set to remain vacant in the garage this weekend as a tribute to the Frenchman, who remains in a critical condition in hospital.