World champion Lewis Hamilton bounced back to top the times ahead of Sebastian Vettel in Friday’s second practice ahead of Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.
The 31-year-old Briton, who is 36 points adrift of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the standings after three races, was second-fastest behind him in the first session.
But he rediscovered his mojo in the second session to clock a best lap in one minute and 37.583 seconds, more than six-tenths of a second quicker than nearest rival Vettel, who suffered further reliability problems.
Rosberg was third in the second Mercedes, eight-tenths off Hamilton’s pace, with Finn Kimi Raikkonen fourth in the second Ferrari.
Vettel was forced to stop on track with an electrical failure on his Ferrari after half an hour and spent much of the remainder of the session making notes and drawings in a luxurious notepad.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull, having ‘tested’ the team’s latest cockpit safety device on his installation lap in the morning, with Finn Valtteri Bottas sixth for Williams.
Local hero Daniil Kvyat was seventh on his ‘home’ Sochi Autodrom circuit in the second Red Bull ahead of the two much improved McLaren Hondas of Jenson Button, who was eighth, and Fernando Alonso, who was 10th, the pair sandwiching Brazilian Felipe Massa of Williams in ninth spot.