Russian F1 Grand Prix 2018 Qualifying: Results, Times from Friday's Practice

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2018

SOCHI, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 28: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on September 28, 2018 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)
Charles Coates/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in the second practice session on Friday ahead of the 2018 Formula One Russian Grand Prix, after Sebastian Vettel had gone quickest in the morning.

The Mercedes driver set a time of one minute, 33.385 seconds on hypersoft tyres at the Sochi Autodrom, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen were close behind.

Hamilton had come third in FP1 behind Vettel and Verstappen despite running on ultrasofts.


FP2 Recap

Here's the classification from FP2:

Formula 1 @F1

FP2 CLASSIFICATION: A strong session for @MercedesAMGF1 #RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1 https://t.co/WlAL604IIG

Donning hypersoft tyres, it took Verstappen just 13 minutes to go quicker than Vettel's timesheet-topping lap from FP1.

The Red Bull remained atop the pile until Mercedes duo Hamilton and Bottas—the defending champion in Russia—made their switch to the compound.

The results were immediate, as the Finn claimed P1 with his first run before immediately making way for his team-mate:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

🤜🤛 @LewisHamilton goes faster still! It’s P1 and P2 for the boys! Just 0.036s split our pair of W09s! 👀 #RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1 https://t.co/UeJhMEw23K

Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc, who spent much of the morning session wrestling with his Sauber, continued to struggle and was thankful for a substantial run-off area when he missed Turn 5. 

Hamilton's position atop the timesheet was more or less assured in the later stages of the session as teams switched their attention to longer runs, but Sergio Perez will have been happy to claim seventh spot behind the Mercedes, Red Bulls and Ferraris.


FP1 Recap

Here's the classification from the first free practice session:

Formula 1 @F1

FP1 CLASSIFICATION: P10 for Giovinazzi 👏 #RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1 https://t.co/vzdYujBA50

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne set the first benchmark on soft tyres, but he was quickly knocked off the top by the likes of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Hamilton briefly held the quickest time courtesy of his ultrasoft tyres, but Verstappen's hypersoft compound allowed him to go even quicker.

Meanwhile, McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris found himself going in the wrong direction after he clipped a kerb and spun at Turn 4:

Formula 1 @F1

Wrong way, Lando Norris 😉 #RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1 https://t.co/lt6cVG8Yry

He wasn't the only one to run into some difficulty. Hamilton also found himself running off the track at Turn 2, while Lance Stroll spun at Turn 8 after he lost control of his Williams:

Formula 1 @F1

A momentary spin for Lance Stroll 🔄 #RussianGP 🇷🇺 #F1 https://t.co/5e22CiBHgn

As Mercedes switched their attention to long-run pace on harder compounds, Vettel stole in to leapfrog them and Verstappen on the timesheets.