GP Russia, prove del sabato–29/04/2017
Sebastian Vettel keeps Ferrari on top in final Russian GP practice
Sebastian Vettel continued Ferrari’s dominance at Sochi as he set the pace in final practice for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.
The German clocked a 1m34.001s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres, 0.337 seconds quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas was Ferrari’s closest challenger, 0.363s adrift in third and two tenths ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari and Mercedes set out on the ultra-soft compound early in the session as they battled to understand how to use their tyres in the most effective away ahead of qualifying.
After the first runs, Hamilton was quickest, 0.105s faster than Vettel with Bottas third, a further tenth-and-a-half adrift.
With 20 minutes to go, Mercedes headed back out first with Bottas going quickest with a 1m34.681s on his second timed lap, having done a build-up lap to get heat into the tyres.
Hamilton was on course to go quicker, using the same warm-up strategy, but made a series of mistakes in the final sector.
Raikkonen then put Ferrari top with a 1m34.338s before Vettel clocked the fastest-ever lap at Sochi with a 1m34.001s.
He was on course to go even quicker and break the 1m34s-barrier, but lost two tenths in the final sector.
Both Mercedes drivers improved on their second flying laps, but they stayed in third and fourth respectively.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was best of the rest in fifth, but he was 1.451s off the pace, a few thousandths clear of Felipe Massa.
Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who momentarily stopped on track in the closing minutes of the session before getting going again, was seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.
Jolyon Palmer was the only driver who failed to set a time with his Renault team deciding to change his engine ahead of qualifying.
That came after its mechanics worked well into the night to complete a precautionary chassis change for the Briton after an exhaust leak on Friday.
PRACTICE THREE RESULTS:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.452s||1.451s||21|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.830s||1.829s||24|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.164s||2.163s||20|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.676s||2.675s||22|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.846s||2.845s||18|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.962s||2.961s||21|
Russian GP: Vettel leads first all-Ferrari front row since 2008
Sebastian Vettel claimed Ferrari’s first pole position of 2017, as both he and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen defeated the Mercedes drivers in a tight Russian Grand Prix qualifying battle.
Ferrari had led the way throughout free practice, but trailed Mercedes through Q1 and Q2, when both Vettel and Raikkonen made an extra run compared to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the latter segment.
But Ferrari turned things around in Q3, when Raikkonen sat on provisional pole after the initial runs, just ahead of Bottas and Vettel, with Hamilton trailing in fourth after twice snatching the inside front brake on his hot lap.
Raikkonen looked set to claim his first pole since the French GP of 2008, which was also the last race Ferrari locked out the front row, but went wide at the final corner on his last lap so failed to improve.
That allowed Vettel to snatch pole by just 0.059 seconds with a last-gasp effort of 1m33.194s.
Bottas also failed to find time on his final run, but his earlier lap was still good enough for third on the grid, just 0.036s adrift of Raikkonen – albeit slower than he went in Q2.
Hamilton’s first run in Q3 was compromised by a track position squabble with Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault. Hamilton improved on his final run, but dropped a lot of time in the final sector and ended up almost half a second slower than the sister Mercedes of Bottas.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth in the best of the Red Bulls, over a second slower than Hamilton, while Felipe Massa squeaked his Williams into sixth, just 0.051s ahead of the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Hulkenberg was eighth in the best of the works Renaults, just over a tenth further back, while the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.
Both Force Indias made Q3 for the first time this season, Ocon claiming the final spot in the top-10 shootout by 0.219s from the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, who complained of a "very strange" lack of grip on his final set of tyres.
The second Williams of Lance Stroll split Sainz from his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat, as all three drivers lapped within 0.020s of each other.
Kevin Magnussen’s Haas was less than half a tenth further back in 14th, well clear of the underpowered McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso, who maintained his 100% record of getting McLaren-Honda into Q2 at every race so far this season.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer missed the cut by less than a tenth, but had already failed to improve on his final run before crashing heavily at Turn 4 after clipping the inside kerb.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who will start last after a grid penalty, found time on his final run but it was nowhere near enough to escape Q1. He wound up 17th fastest and six tenths away from the Q2 cut off.
Pascal Wehrlein was 18th in the best of the Saubers, lucky to survive a spin unscathed at Turn 13 at the end of Q1.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was just under two tenths further back, while Romain Grosjean’s Haas brought up the rear of the grid.
Grosjean struggled with the brakes and balance of his car throughout free practice, and was also unhappy at the start of qualifying, but was on a better lap before Palmer’s crash nullified the end of the session.
RUSSIAN GP STARTING GRID:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.711s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1.967s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2.143s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||2.236s|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.774s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.754s|