Hamilton tops final Russian GP practice despite late spin

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Lewis Hamilton has closed out practice for the Russian Grand Prix as the fastest driver, finishing two-tenths of a second clear of the field at the Sochi Autodrom on Saturday morning.

However, the Briton was lucky not to crash out in FP3 for the second weekend in a row after a spin at turn 17 in the final few minutes of the session.

Thanks to the luxury of the run-off area at Sochi, Hamilton managed to keep his car out of the wall and avoid giving his mechanics a major repair job ahead of qualifying. It did deny him the chance to extend his lead at the top of the timesheets, though.

Throughout the session, Hamilton laid down an impressive pace that none of his rivals could match. Championship rival Nico Rosberg finished second, 0.290 seconds down on his teammate, with Valtteri Bottas finishing third for Williams. The Finn looks set to be in the running for another podium finish this weekend.

Kevin Magnussen’s session came to an early end due to a gearbox failure. The McLaren driver was lucky not to crash, but his stoppage did bring out a red flag during the first half of the session. He is likely to take a five place grid penalty as a result.

Red Bull finally woke up after a disappointing showing on Friday, with Daniel Ricciardo finishing fourth. Sebastian Vettel continued to struggle down in 11th place, though.

Daniil Kvyat continued to impress in front of his home fans, finishing sixth for Toro Rosso ahead of qualifying later today.

At the front though, Hamilton looks set to secure pole position, but with Rosberg and Bottas in close company, it may not be such a foregone conclusion.

You can watch qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7am ET today.