GP Russia, prove libere venerdì–28/04/2017
Russian GP: Vettel keeps Ferrari on top in second practice
Sebastian Vettel set the pace in second practice for the Russian Grand Prix, as Ferrari started the weekend with the edge over Formula 1 rival Mercedes.
Vettel, whose team-mate Kimi Raikkonen led the way in first practice, used a fresh set of ultra-soft Pirellis to clock a 1m34.120s at Sochi.
The German reported an "engine hesitation" on his outlap and after a conservative first flying lap, put the hammer down on the second to go 0.263 seconds quicker than Raikkonen.
Mercedes appeared to be quicker in the first sector, but both Lewis Hamilton’s and Valtteri Bottas’s laps fell away thereafter.
Bottas was Ferrari’s closest challenger in third, 0.670s off the pace, with Hamilton a few thousandths further back in fourth.
It was a scrappy session for Mercedes as both drivers struggled to get their Pirelli tyres into the right operating window, their quickest times coming several laps into the run.
Max Verstappen got the better of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and ended the day fifth fastest, just over three tenths clear of the Australian.
However Verstappen’s session ended 20 minutes early when he parked at the side of the track and reported he was "out of power".
The close battle in the midfield looks set to continue with only half-a-second separating Williams’ Felipe Massa in seventh and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer in 13th.
Between them was Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
Romain Grosjean, whose Haas team tried a different brake supplier in Friday practice, complained of understeer throughout as he finished 14th.
Toro Rosso had a tough session with Carlos Sainz Jr and home favourite Daniil Kvyat 15th and 17th respectively after their runs on the ultra-softs.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who sighed "incredible" as one of the Force Indias breezed by, ended up 16th, just under four tenths adrift of Alonso.
The McLaren driver is set to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid after the team changed the entire Honda engine ahead of FP2 following more problems on Friday morning, earning a 15-place grid penalty.
Lance Stroll was 19th, 1.5s slower than team-mate Massa, but he was the only driver who did not run the ultra-soft tyre.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.540s||1.420s||15|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.910s||1.790s||26|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.600s||2.480s||38|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.654s||2.534s||39|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m37.083s||2.963s||36|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m37.300s||3.180s||35|
Russian GP: Ferrari’s Raikkonen fastest in first practice
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace for Ferrari in first practice for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.
The Finn used Pirelli’s super-soft tyres to post a 1m36.074s, outpacing Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas by 0.045 seconds as Ferrari enjoyed another strong start following its victory in Bahrain.
Lewis Hamilton finished third, over sixth tenths off the pace, after going off track several times during the 90 minutes, with championship leader Sebastian Vettel fifth after a less-than-perfect session of his own.
Following a brief yellow-flag period early when Sergey Sirotkin stopped on track in Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault, Hamilton moved to the top of the times with a 1m39.558s in his first run on soft tyres.
Vettel posted his first time nearly 25 minutes in, the Ferrari driver going quickest with a 1m38.709s.
He did not last long on top, however, as Bottas used the super-soft tyres to outpace the German by more than 1.3s with a 1m36.998s, but Vettel stayed on track and improved to halve that margin.
Before the 30-minute mark, Hamilton moved into second in the super-soft-shod Mercedes – six tenths behind his team-mate – but Bottas went even quicker on the fourth lap of his run to set a new benchmark of 1m36.119s.
Hamilton also improved, but fell 0.562s short of Bottas’s best.
Daniel Ricciardo and Bottas fell victim to the slippery track surface, both running off track, while Hamilton had a bigger scare, becoming the first driver to hit the newly-installed speed bumps at Turn 2 as he overshot the braking point.
Halfway through the session, only the Mercedes drivers and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr had run on the super-softs, before Sergio Perez joined them with 30 minutes remaining to jump up to third.
At the same time, Raikkonen moved to the top with his 1m36.074s on the same compound, before the Force India of Perez’s team-mate Esteban Ocon shed its engine cover at Turn 2, bringing out the red flag.
Vettel was one of the first drivers to leave the pits as the action resumed, on super-softs, but a mistake on his first flying lap at Turn 13 meant he failed to improve despite setting the quickest time in the middle sector.
His second attempt did not go to plan either, spinning at Turn 16 after running too aggressively over the kerbs and managing to keep the car off the kerbs.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen improved late in the session to move up to fourth, jumping Vettel with a run on super-softs.
Ricciardo was sixth in the second Red Bull, ahead of Perez, Williams pair Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll, and Ocon.
Fernando Alonso was the best of the McLaren-Hondas in 13th, while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne’s morning finished early, reporting "no power" as he cruised back to the pits in the closing minutes.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.174s||1.100s||19|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.290s||1.216s||19|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.457s||1.383s||29|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.065s||1.991s||28|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.496s||2.422s||17|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.976s||2.902s||17|