GP Russia, prove del venerdì–29/04/2016
Lewis Hamilton moves ahead in second Russian Grand Prix practice
Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of Formula 1 practice for the Russian Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets.
Having lost out to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg during the morning session, Hamilton outpaced the championship leader by 0.867 seconds in the afternoon, with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel splitting the duo in second despite losing track time to an electrical problem.
Hamilton was fastest from early on having outpaced Rosberg when both were on soft-compound Pirellis – although he did have a brief spin at Turn 4 that flat-spotted his tyres and sent him back to the pits. He had two harmless visits to the run-off area at the same corner later in the session.
When the Mercedes duo switched onto the faster super-softs, Hamilton was able to improve by around eight tenths to a 1m37.583s while Rosberg did not gain time.
This was partly because Haas driver Romain Grosjean spun and triggered a yellow-flag zone that Rosberg hit, but it meant the German’s best lap on softs – reckoned to be eight or nine-tenths slower than the super-softs, but offering dramatically different pace gaps from car to car – remained his fastest until he headed out for his second run on softs and was only able to make a small improvement.
Vettel’s best time was just under seven-tenths off Hamilton’s pace, also using super-soft rubber and set before he ground to a halt on the start/finish straight with what he reported as an electrical problem.
The virtual safety car system was deployed to allow the recovery of the Ferrari, which did disrupt the runs of a number of drivers.
Kimi Raikkonen made it a Mercedes/Ferrari top-four lockout by setting fourth-fastest time, over three-tenths slower than Rosberg.
With nobody bothering to run the medium-compound Pirellis thanks to the low rates of degradation and wear, which meant teams have taken few sets to Sochi, drivers set their best times variously on soft and super-soft rubber.
Red Bull pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat ended up fifth and seventh overall, although the Australian’s best time was set on the slower soft compound.
They sandwiched the lead Williams-Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who was 1.6s off the pace having used suer-softs to set his time in common with all but Rosberg and Ricciardo.
Jenson Button was eighth fastest for McLaren ahead of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.
Renault’s Kevin Magnussen made his first appearance of the weekend having sat out the morning session in favour of development driver Sergey Sirotkin and was 15th.
That put him two places behind the other driver who sat out practice one, Nico Hulkenberg, who took 13th after stepping aside for Alfonso Celis Jr to drive during the first session.
Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson was slowest, behind Manor pairing Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein, the latter grinding to a halt after the chequered flag and reporting a loss of power.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m39.084s||1.501s||34|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m39.193s||1.610s||32|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m39.465s||1.882s||37|
|12||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m39.501s||1.918s||30|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.795s||2.212s||31|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.867s||2.284s||38|
Nico Rosberg sets commanding pace in first Russian GP practice
Nico Rosberg continued his imperious Formula 1 form by topping the opening free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver outpaced team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.722 seconds, a surprisingly large advantage given both ran similar programmes using the same Pirelli tyre compounds.
The session also featured the track debut of Red Bull’s aeroscreen cockpit protection concept, which Daniel Ricciardo used for an early installation lap.
During the first 40 minutes of the session, when drivers use one set of tyres that cannot subsequently be run, Hamilton initially set the pace.
While the track was quiet early on, both Mercedes reeled off eight-lap runs on one of their four sets of soft tyres and traded top spot.
Hamilton looked to have prevailed despite losing the rear at Turn 2 and spinning onto the run-off area on his sixth lap, but given the low rates of tyre wear and degradation at the Sochi circuit the battle continued into their second runs.
That allowed Rosberg to hit back, setting a 1m39.097s on his 12th lap to secure top spot -just over two-tenths faster than Hamilton, who could not match that improvement.
Both Mercedes drivers bolted on super-softs for their second runs, with Hamilton unable to get near Rosberg, the latter only briefly having trouble when he ran across the run-off area at Turn 2.
The German set his best time on his 22nd lap of the session and Hamilton had no answer for his pace having only been able to improve on his soft-compound time by 0.458s.
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel prevailed in a tight battle for third ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and Williams driver Felipe Massa.
Both Ferrari drivers opted to run medium and then soft tyres during the session, compared to the Mercedes strategy of soft then super-soft – meaning the duo were the only drivers on that rubber in the top nine.
Initially, Ricciardo held the position before Vettel jumped ahead of him.
Raikkonen and then Massa, who did not post a time until there was just over 20 minutes remaining thanks to a clutch problem, then had stints in third before Vettel, who had suffered a brief spin at Turn 15 earlier in the session, set a best time 1.048s off Rosberg to secure the position.
Valtteri Bottas was seventh fastest behind Ricciardo in the second Williams having been the closest challenger to the Mercedes drivers in the first 40 minutes.
He was able only to find an improvement of less than a tenth of a second on his second set of super-softs, with both Williams drivers opting to use that compound in both parts of the session.
Daniil Kvyat was eighth in the second Red Bull, although he would have improved on his 1m40.218s time had he not spun at the penultimate corner while on a better lap.
Force India driver Sergio Perez, also running super-softs, was ninth with Carlos Sainz Jr 10th and the best non-Ferrari driver using softs.
Jenson Button was the quicker of the McLaren-Honda drivers, setting 11th fastest time on softs after recovering from a spin during the first 40 minutes of running. He ended up just over a tenth faster than Fernando Alonso.
Newly-appointed Renault development driver Sergey Sirotkin was 13th fastest on his second appearance in an F1 practice session, the first having come at the same venue for Sauber in 2014.
He drove Kevin Magnussen’s car, with Alfonso Celis Jr the other non-race driver to appear and ending up slowest after Rio Haryanto was finally able to set a time with four minutes remaining to relegate him to bottom spot.
It was a challenging session for the Manor team, as Haryanto only joined in late on thanks to a technical problem, while Pascal Wehrlein’s car needed a rapid floor change after picking up damage earlier on.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m39.650s||1.523s||24|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m40.218s||2.091s||26|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.287s||2.160s||22|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m40.654s||2.527s||21|
|15||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m41.134s||3.007s||22|
|22||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.432s||5.305s||23|