Hamilton edges Rosberg in final practice

By on Saturday, April 30, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton narrowly edged out Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to set the fastest time during final practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Rosberg, who both went wide at Turn 13 early on, traded quick times at the head of the pack before the German driver pulled half a second clear.

Hamilton responded to Rosberg’s lap with a time of 1:36.403 to finish 0.068s ahead, as both drivers were able to extend their stints on the Super Soft tyre compound around the Sochi Autodrom.

Sebastian Vettel, who spent the bulk of the session concentrating on long runs, was third fastest, albeit 0.604s adrift of Hamilton.

Vettel, who will drop five places on the grid due to a gearbox penalty, had to be alert to avoid Hamilton in the pit lane.

Vettel was given the all-clear to leave the garage but braked to avoid Hamilton, who was travelling down the pit lane.

Kimi Räikkönen was a further seven-tenths back in fourth place after making a mistake exiting the final corner.

Williams collected fifth and sixth with Felipe Massa in front of Valtteri Bottas, while Max Verstappen was seventh for Toro Rosso.

Jenson Button was eighth for McLaren as the team bids to make it into Q3, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr., the Spaniard sliding wide in the final sector.

Sergio Pérez completed the top 10 for Force India, ahead of Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, who were split by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

Nico Hülkenberg eclipsed a close scrap between Haas’ Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean, sandwiching Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.

Jolyon Palmer was 18th once more for Renault, as both Manor drivers finished ahead of their rivals from Sauber.

Rio Haryanto beat Pascal Wehrlein to 19th place while Marcus Ericsson turned the tables on Felipe Nasr to take 21st.

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