Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2014

Hamilton well ahead in second practice

2014 Russian Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2014Lewis Hamilton was emphatically fastest in the second practice session at Sochi, lapping eight-tenths of a second quicker than anyone else and the only driver to round the track in less than 100 seconds.

Team mate Nico Rosberg was nine-tenths of a second slower than his team mate and ended the session behind Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso. Rosberg lost time by running wide on his quicker lap.

Drivers found the soft compound tyres were durable enough to produce a series of increasingly quick laps. Rosberg traded quick times with Jenson Button initially, before the McLaren driver slipped down to sixth place.

Valtteri Bottas made up for lost time in his disrupted first practice session by setting the fifth fastest time. With team mate Felipe Massa seventh, six of the top seven places were taken by Mercedes-powered cars.

The track continued to catch drivers out, with many of them taking to the run-off area during the course of the session. The final two corners were a particular cause of trouble.

Daniel Ricciardo suffered a blow when his car came to a stop in the final ten minutes of practice. The session had to be red-flagged so marshals could recover his car, which began to smoke after Ricciardo got out of it. After that the session resumed for the final three minutes.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’39.63027
220Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.4940.86432
314Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’40.5040.87432
46Nico RosbergMercedes1’40.5420.91230
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’40.5730.94333
622Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.7181.08832
719Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’40.7311.10130
826Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’41.1081.47832
91Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’41.3961.76630
1025Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’41.5311.90133
117Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’41.6302.00024
1227Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’41.6772.04727
133Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’42.0612.43125
1411Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’42.0902.46029
1599Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’42.2332.60331
168Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’42.8923.26230
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’42.9053.27533
1821Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’43.0553.42533
199Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’44.1354.50522
204Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’44.5304.90029
2110Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’44.9525.32227

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
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59 comments on “Hamilton well ahead in second practice”

  1. Great to see K-Mag on the front row, even though it’s just FP2. With all the speculation going around and Buttons 5th place in Japan, this is a much needed sign of encouragement.

    1. Maybe finally they will pass Force India in championship standings. I was hoping FI to finish 5th. It wi not happen, I think

    2. @venturadk It’s a top 2, but not really the front row :)

  2. McLaren should choose MAG over BUT if they’re going to fire 1 of them for 2015. MAG is the future for sure, unfortunately for BUT.

    1. @corrado-dub
      Judging by a free practice where he was faster by 2 tenths on an evolving track? Or maybe judging by his points tally compared to Button? Or his race pace compared to Button?

      Seriously though, Kevin has talent, he can be big, in as few years, but McLaren should be the team for the best drivers, not the drivers with the best potential. Right now Kevin looks like another Kovalainen, if they want to keep him, give him a 3rd seat and some FPs.

      1. Come on, he beat BUT in Quali in the last 4 races ! Plus, to me, MAG seems somehow better than Kovalainen. It’s just my opinion…

        1. @corrado-dub

          Points aren’t awarded on the Saturdays.

          I will openly admit, Button is pretty meh at qualifying, but he most certainly delivers in the race. Take last weekend, for example, or his race results compared to Kevin, in general.

    2. Magnussen gets faster lap time in a practice session, Button must be fired! (end sarcasm)

    3. It’s a really difficult one I think.

      Magnussen has been quite impressive this season and he will keep improving with his best years ahead of him.

      And then there’s Button who is so reliable. He is almost always picking up points, which is keeping them in the fight with Force India at the moment. I think he’s still got a lot to give to a team. If Alonso came in, an Alonso-Button partnership would be picking up points left, right, and centre (reliability dependant). And it would be Santander’s dream to have those two in a team.

      But is it fair to undeservedly bump another young driver out of a seat after just one season, even if it’s just a brief relegation to test driver?

      1. @deej92

        Would it be “more fair” to drop a world champion, who in his five years with the team earned more points than his teammates with the other car? From 2010 to this day Button scored 55,4% of McLaren’s points. From 2013 to this day he scored 63,8% of McLarens points. In 2014 he brought 67,8% of McLarens points.

        So either he gets better and better, in which case he should not be dropped, or he is getting worse and worse teammmates, in which case he also should not be the one who is dropped.

        Dropping Button would defy logic.

        1. I’m not saying Button should be dropped. It’s just something to think about from both points of view. If I was McLaren, with Alonso coming in, I’d keep Button on for at least one more year, which would also help with Honda coming in.

        2. Except that Button is “old” and cost +10 mill. US more a Year than K Mag. Button has resonably well though – so in short there is many logics going on at The same time and therefore it is a dilemma for Mclaren.

          1. @lars

            Your argument would be valid if money was a factor, but multiple sources from McLaren said that they would have their biggest budget next year. And even then the logical action would be to cut Buttons salary, not dropping him. Write in his contract that he gets a basic salary and as mutch money as he brings to the team with his points in the WCC. Basicly something like 2-300.000 pound + contructors reward * (his points/teams points).

    4. I don’t know what they’re going to do but MAG is making their life difficult.

      If Jenson gets fired and fails to find another seat it will be a very ungracious way to leave the sport for a world champion.

      1. I think he’s a good driver, but the fact that he is facing an ungracious exit, while holding a WDC, speaks volumes.

        Indeed, I can’t think of another recent WDC who had such an exit, while in his prime and in good health. The conventional wisdom is that Luca pushed out Schumacher for Raikkonen, but Schumacher was arguably quite toward the end of his career. And anyway Schumacher was able to come back in a strongish team showing his strong value. Before Schumacher, the last WDC to leave the sport was Raikkonen, apparently pushed out. But he came back as highly-sought-after, and today drives for a top team with no short term threat to his seat. Before Kimi, there was Mika, who left of his own volition and in high regard. And before that was JV, who followed his title with some ignominious floundering and is regarded as a spectacular flame-out. So from this information one can conclude that Button’s situation is rather uncommon. He is no JV, but he is also not a Schumacher or Raikkonen. He may look to the examples of Schumacher and Raikkonen as returnees, but I don’t see teams banging down his door after two years of doing triatholons, certainly not a top team.

        Now there is a case for him. He brings the car home and scores points. He is masterful in the wet. However, look at his stats of poles, wins, and podiums over his career, and compare it to his tenure, and compare that to his peer WDCs on the grid. You don’t get the image of a star driver. He has outscored all comers, but a top team is not looking for a guy who qualifies .3s and two places down on this teammate but ekes out a points edge at the end of the year because the doesn’t bin it.

  3. From what I could see even more impossible to overtake, the radius of the corners don’t help neither do the curved straights and to make matters worse degradation isn’t a factor, although there’s one positive the track is better than expected, it’s clean and there’s a 55.000 vibe that may lighten F1 up and the track looks more fun than expected. I’m surprised with how little run-off there is, it’s more scarce than the very similar Valencia circuit and other few newer tracks like Korea where at places there’s just walls in high speed areas. Mercedes are clear ahead, Williams 2nd again, RBR and FI for 3rd, 4th is McLaren, Ferrari and Toro rosso.I’m surprised with how clean the track was in FP1 and how greasy as the day went by in FP2, lots of sliding almost made it look like as if it was FP1.

    1. Maybe completely wrong, but the track seemed Silverstone-ish, nicely flowing and fast in lots of places with little cambers and dips just to keep it edgy. But almost certain to see a SC in the race I think.

    2. “From what I could see even more impossible to overtake,”

      I don’t know I think we will see some good overtaking here as there are a couple corners where mistakes will be easy to make which lead into a possible overtaking zone.
      There’s that Left/Right chicane towards the end of the lap for instance where everyone was making mistakes & running wide through the 1st part which in a close battle could allow a car behind to get a run down the next straght into the final 2 corners.

      Additionally the end of the 2nd DRS zone looks like it will actually be pretty interesting as through FP1/2 watching the OnBoard feed on Sky I noticed a few cars trying to take the left hander before the tight corner at the end of the straght flat with DRS open & ending up either running very wide through the left (And been really offline for the tight right) or having the back end start to move around through the exit of the left kink which again ran them wide & offline into the next Right.

      I’m fairly optimistic that we will get a decent race.

  4. not a single word from Ferrari about Vettel or Alonso yet? or McLaren, for that matter. I’ve read on James Allen’s blog that Ferrari are waiting to Marchione take on Ferrari to announce Vettel contract, but no one says anything about Alonso staying! that would be a Bomb!

    1. News in paddock is that Alonso was hoping to join Mercedes in 2015 but all his negotiations (over last 3 months) failed with them. And Ferrari by lack of enthusiasm from Alonso’s side to drive for them decided to sign Vettel to partner Raikkonen. Vettel announcement will come eventually.

      Mercedes have confirmed internally Hamilton and Rosberg for 2015 but what happens in 2016 is still up in the air.

      Red Bull also confirmed their drivers thus putting Alonso in very difficult position. Williams also confirmed their line up 1 month ago.

      So Alonso’s only option Mclaren or sabbatical.

      Whatever happens, either Alonso or Button or Magnussen will be without good seat for next year. Unless one of them goes to lower team, which is option for Magnussen bur surely Button will retire and Alonso will go sabbatical.

      Any way by being sabbatical hope Alonso does not remain out forever. Out of sight, out of mind.

      1. @nin13 Lotus might be a good seat for next year (probability-wise I don’t see it any less likely than McLaren being a good seat)

        1. Maybe with Mercedes engine they might be better. But can’t see them in championship winning position or even race winning.

          Lotus is essentially team with which Alonso won is 2 titles and falls back to when he has breakup with whichever team he drives for.

          1. Yes but it might be better to spend a year at Lotus than take a sabbatical, or commit himself to McLaren when everything looks up in the air there too.

      2. Alonso also could potentially consider a move to Lotus. But then there is all this gossip about Alonso and Honda having a partnership of some kind. I think all this gossip about HAM and others is perpetuated by ALO’s team.

      3. Hamilton has stated that he is lweaving all discussions about contract till after the season, concentrating on trying to win the championship first.

        He is contracted until end of 2015 so right now it is not an issue. I think Alonso wants to move to mclaren for 1 year, so that if a merc seat became available he could try get that.

        Hamilton would be mental to leave Merc at the moment, no reason why they won’t stay the dominant force for the next 2-3 years.

        1. @aledinho I saw Lewis quoted as saying “I haven’t frozen anything” after Toto said talks were ‘frozen’. I don’t see how it takes any concentration from Lewis – his management do the negotiating.

          I think Merc shot themselves in the foot extending Rosberg with a higher salary.

          So one assumes Hamilton’s side then wanted more too, obviously, but at the same time Merc suddenly thought ‘oh we have the best car we can pay less!’. Well Lewis and XIX weren’t going to swallow that.

          And now Merc are leaving it until he’s quite possibly 2x wdc and any points-based illusions about Rosberg’s quality have been exposed.

          So I reckon it’s just hardball about money. Merc must be loving Alonso and Vettel being uncommitted, but they’re in danger of waiting too long. They’ll be watching McLaren this weekend, thinking Prodromou, and listening to these rumours about the Honda engine being hot.

          1. @lockup I hadn’t seen wolf’s latest comments!

            I think it will stay as it is, I would be amazed (plus disappointed as a Hamilton fan) if he did leave after watching him in Mclaren for a few years never really having the opportunity to challenge for the championship.

            i think some people think Lewis is just after the money. Mclaren have never been massive payers (from what I can tell and have read bar maybe with Senna) and by leaving for Merc when he did Merc would have to pay big money for one of the top drivers in the sport.

            This is Hamilton’s 8th season in the sport and I would say probably his best overall. He’s been very consistent and when things have gone wrong he’s been able to react positively in his driving.

            He is regarded by many as the quickest driver over a lap in the sport and his racing has improved, you don’t see him struggling for fuel or tires ever these days, he has matured in that respect.

            I don’t see what benefit Merc would get from changing either. The way I read it when he moved was Merc wanted Hamilton to be the face of their new era. 2 seasons in: out scored Rosberg and Out poled him in 2013 (slightly disappointing only to get 1 win) and this year he is going to end up with more wins than Rosberg.

            why change it?

          2. @lockup You certainly have quite the imagination.

        2. As far as I know. Internally Mercedes have confirmed both of them for next year. But obviously nowadays when money speaks and word means nothing, what is stopping Mercedes stopping from telling Hamilton to not drive next 3 races as long as they can pay huge $$$$$

      4. That is the problem with a sabbatical. Once you’re out, it might be difficult to get yourself back in with a desired team.

  5. Encouraging. Just hope nothing breaks now.

  6. Hope McLaren’s performance is real. That will be great on Sunday.

  7. What a performance from HAM!!! Clearly the fastest driver on a single lap and also the fastest on his long run.
    McLaren really surprised me in both FPs. Great pace, especially on the prime tyre.
    The RBs were really struggling today. Absolutely nowhere in terms of qualy-performance and their long runs weren’t spectacular either. Definately no match for Mercedes and Williams.
    Ferrari has about the same pace as McLaren. Fantastic lap from Fernando on his low-fuel run.
    Force India were disappointing on their low-fuel runs, but showed encouraging pace on their long runs.

    HAM will be the man to beat tomorrow and on Sunday. Rosberg has to find more pace if he wants challenge Lewis. Bottas was very quick on his long run, just a fraction behind Lewis and definately quicker than Nico.
    It should be very close between McLaren, Ferrari, Force India and RB. They had about the same pace on their long runs, but FI and RB have to find more qualy-pace if they want to fight with McLaren and Ferrari.

    1. @srga91

      HAM will be the man to beat tomorrow and on Sunday

      I think that qualifying could be the key to Hamilton having an easier run to the title. Once he gets in front he seems untroubled and can focus on managing the car and maintaining reliability. Every time he qualifies behind Rosberg he has a much bigger job to do and that also puts strain on the car for longer. If he can qualify ahead and comes out of the first corner ahead then I don’t see him being troubled too much come the race.

    2. “Rosberg has to find more pace if he wants challenge Lewis.”
      Well, you can bet he’s studying Lewis’s special Nico-coaching data right now so he can do just that.

      1. maestrointhesky
        10th October 2014, 20:55

        My thoughts exactly. This is why it’s so impressive that HAM still beat ALO in his first year, even after they stopped sharing data! The pit lane coaching ban will hurt ROS much more than HAM!

      2. The data sharing thing is interesting. I think Nico is the one who gains most from it (although without inside info we can’t say for certain) but how similar are their preferences? I have read somewhere they are quite similar but then in races like last week Hamilton’s so much more happier dealing with a loose back end than Rosberg is you have to wonder how close their preferences really are and how much they can really copy eachothers data.

        1. As teammates, especially with a rivalry this close, of course both drivers are going to be looking at each others data closely for hints how to get this car around the track faster. That’s how it should work…both drivers pushing each other to advance the car and stay ahead of the competition. How much each is going to help the other depends on the track, tires etc etc…a hundred variables.

      3. One striking thing for me is that all year Rosberg cannot match Hamilton on fuel consumption, even though the exact techniques must all be there in the data. Every race Lewis gets to start several kilos lighter and evidently Nico can’t do anything about it.

        There was an FP early in the year, Sepang maybe, where Rosberg was faster and Lewis said he studied the data and saw what he needed to do. Then he did it.

        I think this is the difference – Lewis can execute. So I don’t worry about it. It was the same with JB at McLaren, if we remember about Lewis finding Jenson’s engineers with his data spread out on a table.

        Nico can be extremely quick, but he’s not as consistent and complete, and there’s only so much data can do for him.

  8. “six of the top seven places were taken by Mercedes-powered cars.”

    The fact you don’t even have to look to see which is the other driver is, shows you just what Ferrari have let slip from their grasp. Fools.

    1. @john-h Yep got to agree. It’s early days but thus far Mattiachi is failing to impress. Ego before performance, it looks like.

      And now even Seb isn’t certain, it seems. Ferrari could end up with drivers ranked 5th and below. Or worse – who’s as good as Bottas even?

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      10th October 2014, 15:59

      @john-h, Alonso has so far been the fastest non-Mercedes powered (NMP) car in 29 of 47 practice sessions (62%), with RBR picking up most of the rest.

      However, he has ‘only’ been fastest NMP in 3/15 Quali sessions (20%). All the rest goes to Red Bull.

  9. I see Raikkonen is race after race turning up as fired up as ever. The future is bright for him. Not because of his pace, mind you, but because having another stooge at the other side of the garage in form of Vettel, won’t make him look half as bad as Alonso is doing at the moment.

  10. Lewis is super quick but not .910 faster than Rosberg.

    1. Guess you didn’t watch Suzuka.

      1. Maybe I should have stated over a single lap. And, by the way, I did watch Suzuka and no, Lewis was not ahead of Rosberg for .912 seconds during any of the free pactice sessions or qualifying.

        1. Nico went wide on a hot lap…was within a tenth but ended up .9 back on the charts.

  11. Any one know were i can find all the laps to compare the longruns.

    1. This very website, I believe. Or Autosport if you have a subscription.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        10th October 2014, 16:09

        @srga91, great link. Did not know it existed.

        Did you read the footnote? Outside the regular press nobody may use (copy, print, save, etc.) these results without copyright owner permission!

        1. Oops :o Seems like I missed that :P

          1. Bernie is coming to get you !!!! :p

      2. Where can I find this on the FIA website? I always have to wait for someone to post this link.

        1. http://www.fia.com/sport/championships/news/formula-1-world-championship
          Just click on any Grand Prix you want on the right-hand side and you’ll get the information for every session.

  12. When we see sector times we will see whether Rosberg’s deficit is simply down to his off in one corner or if it’s a real pace difference. There is also FP3. I don’t think it’s time for Hamilton to pop the bubbly yet, though I’m sure he is not. I’m fairly certain that Rosberg will close this gap tremendously by tomorrow.

    1. Watching it live the commentator said the first two sectors more or less matched Hamiltons fastest lap before his error. That was of course Hamiltons first lap and not his overall fastest ( which was 0.2 quicker), but I agree the gap will be much smaller tomorrow, and i still wouldn’t rule out a Rosberg pole.

    2. S1 0.220 slower, S2 0.038 slower, S3 0.313 slower.

  13. It looks like the McLaren performs very well on this track.

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