Hamilton dominates final Russian GP practice

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Lewis Hamilton dominated the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, despite a late spin.

Hamilton posted a best lap of 1:38.726 to head the hour-long session from his Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg by 0.290 of a second.

The Englishman was the first man to break into the 1m38s this weekend, and looked set to improve late on before a spin at the penultimate corner ended his soft tyre run.

Rosberg was the fastest man on the medium tyres early in the session, but was just third going into the final runs on the options before a late improvement shaved six tenths of a second off his team-mate’s advantage, which stood at nine tenths before his spin.

Valtteri Bottas was the Mercedes duo’s closest challenger, with the Finn third for Williams, 0.371 shy of Hamilton’s session topping time, and within a tenth of Rosberg.

Daniel Ricciardo showed improved pace for Red Bull in fourth, but the Australian was a second down on Hamilton.

Felipe Massa was fifth in the second Williams, the best part of a second off his team-mate Bottas, but ahead of an impressive Daniil Kvyat – the Russian sixth fastest for Toro Rosso in front of his home crowd.

The two Ferraris were seventh and eighth, Kimi Raikkonen a tenth clear of his team-mate Fernando Alonso, while Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne and outgoing champion Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 10.

McLaren failed to repeat its form from Friday, with Jenson Button slumping to 11th fastest, while Kevin Magnussen was just 17th following an off at Turn 3, after his car snapped sideways and sent him spinning.

The Dane was fortunate to keep his car out of the barriers, and attempted to limp the McLaren home before pulling up at Turn 5, prompting a red flag as his car was recovered.

Pastor Maldonado failed to set a time following an ERS problem.

Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

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