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GP Russia, commenti post gara–01/05/2016


Russian Grand Prix – “The best we could achieve today”

Kimi pleased with handling throughout the race

Overall it hasn’t been a very easy weekend, but today we tried to make the best out of it. I had a good start and managed to get second position but then, like last year, after the Safety Car I could not hold up the Williams behind me on the straight. After that I was trying to fight them back, but I lost one place to Hamilton. So we decided to run longer to gain positions and we did quite a pretty good job. The car was handling very well through the whole race, even if we were forced to do some fuel saving and this affected our laptimes. The third place we managed today is what we were able to achieve, but is not ideal, because we want to be at the front with both cars. It’s a pity not to be fighting for the win, but we take this result and keep on working to put ourselves in a better position.

Da Ferrari.com



Thank you. Over to Kimi. Kimi Raikkonen your third place man today. Very popular man out there, Kimi, and you have the honour today… this is the 700th podium for the Ferrari team. How are you feeling about third place in particular today?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: Of course it’s not exactly what we want. We want to win races and put the two cars as far up as we can. We tried to today. I had a pretty OK start, managed to get Valtteri on the first lap but again after the restart, same like last time here, we just don’t have the speed. He managed to get me and then when I tried to get past him obviously Lewis got past me, but we just had to try to run a bit longer and pass them and we managed to do the Williams but not fast enough for Mercedes. Then we had a good speed but with the fuel saving we had to take some measures, so obviously you cannot push as fast as the car can go.

Lewis says he’s not sure you knew he was coming through. Did you know?
KR: yeah, I could see him. When I tried to pass Bottas then I was obviously close to him in there and got some understeer and ran wide, so he got a good run on me. I tried to block a little bit but it was too late, so I had to let him go.

Q: Kimi, you obviously had a good battle with Valtteri at the beginning and then you were slightly ambushed by Lewis after the restart. Beyond that it seemed to be a pretty regulation race for you. Was it a lonely experience to some degree?
KR: I think a little bit yes – but the start is so important here because it’s such a long straight to the first corner, so I got a very good – well not very good but as good as the other two in front of me – start and then you get the big tow effect and I managed to get past Valtteri. I was surprised how little Nico pushed, or went fast in the first lap and obviously it was a Safety Car and after the Safety Car the same happened as last year, that Williams with the long straight just towed past me and nothing that I could do on that. Then I was able… speed-wise the lap time was good. I was able to follow and then I tried once to overtake in the first corner and was a bit unsure. I lost some speed a few corners later and made some small mistakes, so Lewis got next to me. I tried to squeeze him a little bit but then he was there and I had to let him go and the only chance was to follow them and run a little bit longer and push when we had free traffic. We managed to get Williams. Think the car behaved pretty nicely but there was quite a bit of fuel saving to do, limiting us on the lap time. But it was a fine race. Definitely want to be more higher up with two cars – not ideal on that side. I had quite a big struggle the whole weekend so I’ll take third place but in the race the car was good, like I wanted, but qualifying we struggled, and in the practice. OK, fine but not what we want.

Q: (Kirill Zaytsev – 66.RU) Kimi, will we see you here next year?
KR:
I don’t know.
Q: (Kirill Zaytsev – 66.RU) What about your contract, I mean?
KR:
I have a contract until the end of this year so who knows what will happen next year but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy what I do. Obviously I have a passion for racing but many things are not in our hands. We can only try to do our best and then see what the future will bring. We go race by race. I’m sure at some point this year, latest next year we will know.

Q: (Angelique Belokopytov – AutoDigest) So before the season began, there was some expectation that Ferrari’s performances which were announced and now after a few races we see that it’s not really achieved so my question is for you Kimi, I’m asking for your point of view, what Ferrari is missing to be a real threat to Mercedes?
KR:
I think it’s not very easy to pinpoint what we need but I’m sure we know quite a few small things that we want to improve and we know that there’s some improvements coming but Mercedes were very fast for the last few years and they are fast this year. I don’t think that so far this year we have ever really put together a really clean weekend either so that doesn’t help. You cannot give anything away and expect to beat a team like them. We definitely have it to be done but I am quite confident that once we get everything as we want that we can be very strong as a team. We’ve been failing to finish with two cars in the position that we probably deserve so yes, it’s been disappointing but now we have a good way of doing things. We are behind where we want to be but I’m sure as a team we will get there.

Da Autosport.com


GP Russia, gara–01/05/2016


Rosberg stays unbeaten, Hamilton salvages second in Russian GP

Nico Rosberg dominated the Russian Grand Prix to take his fourth win out of four 2016 Formula 1 races.

But it was team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s recovery from 10th on the grid to second and brief mid-race water-pressure scare, which led to him backing off while closing on Rosberg, that provided the drama.

Hamilton’s cause was helped by a Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel crashing out on the first lap after two separate clashes with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.

Vettel was attempting to pass Daniel Ricciardo for fifth up the inside into the Turn 2 right-hander on the first lap, with Sergio Perez making it three wide on the outside line.

Vettel appeared to have made the move, only for Kvyat to tap the rear of the Ferrari and pitch it sideways and into Ricciardo, who in turn hit Perez and gave the Force India a right-rear puncture.

The Ferrari was then hit in the rear again by Kvyat in the fast Turn 3, pitching Vettel into the wall and out of the race and prompting a tirade over the radio.

Kvyat, who like team-mate Ricciardo had to pit for a new front wing, was given a 10-second stop/go penalty for causing the two collisions.

The safety car was deployed to clear up the wreckage of the Ferrari and the consequences of a separate incident in which Esteban Gutierrez hit Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

While Rosberg had the lead, Hamilton was running fifth, which became fourth when he passed Felipe Massa’s Williams for fourth at Turn 2 at the restart.

Hamilton then dived up the inside of third-placed Kimi Raikkonen into Turn 4 on lap seven after the Finn had a poor run out of the previous corner while chasing Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas was able to keep Hamilton behind when he pitted at the end of lap 16 of 53, with Hamilton emerging just behind after stopping a lap later.

But two laps later, the champion was able to take second up the inside into Turn 2 even though Bottas also had the use of the DRS on the run to the corner thanks to the yet-to-stop Fernando Alonso being ahead.

Once in clear air, Hamilton did close on Rosberg, reducing the gap to 7.5s by two-thirds distance prior to being warned of the water pressure problem that led to him easing off while it was checked.

The gap quickly extended to just over 13s, with Rosberg eventually crossing the line 25s clear after setting the fastest lap of the race on his penultimate time round the Sochi circuit.

Bottas lost out on the final podium place to Raikkonen, who ran four laps later in his first stint and emerged from his sole pitstop just in front of the Williams driver.

Massa had a lonely race to fifth, with the Williams team bringing him in for a late and risk-free stop at the end of lap 46 to switch to super-softs without losing the position.

He had a comfortable advantage over Fernando Alonso, who took his first points finish since last July’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard capitalised on Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen retiring from sixth place with what the Dutchman reported was an engine problem.

Kevin Magnussen delivered a strong race to take his and Renault’s first points of the season in seventh, prevailing in a tight five-car battle for the minor points positions.

He led home Romain Grosjean, who took the new Haas team’s third points finish in four races.

Perez recovered to ninth, with Jenson Button passing Carlos Sainz Jr for the final point late on.

Ricciardo could only recover to 12th ahead of Jolyon Palmer after initially switching onto medium rubber following the first-lap problems and then making a second stop to bolt on softs.

Team-mate Kvyat was 15th, behind Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, after serving his penalty.

RESULTS – 53 LAPS:

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h32m41.997s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25.022s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 31.998s
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 50.217s
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m14.427s
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
7 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1 Lap
8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
10 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
11 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1 Lap
12 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1 Lap
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1 Lap
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1 Lap
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
17 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
18 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 2 Laps
Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari Power Unit
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Collision
Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes Collision
Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes Collision

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 100
2 Lewis Hamilton 57
3 Kimi Raikkonen 43
4 Daniel Ricciardo 36
5 Sebastian Vettel 33
6 Felipe Massa 32
7 Romain Grosjean 22
8 Daniil Kvyat 21
9 Valtteri Bottas 19
10 Max Verstappen 13
11 Fernando Alonso 8
12 Kevin Magnussen 6
13 Nico Hulkenberg 6
14 Carlos Sainz 4
15 Sergio Perez 2
16 Jenson Button 1
17 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
18 Jolyon Palmer 0
19 Marcus Ericsson 0
20 Pascal Wehrlein 0
21 Felipe Nasr 0
22 Esteban Gutierrez 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 157
2 Ferrari 76
3 Red Bull/TAG Heuer 57
4 Williams/Mercedes 51
5 Haas/Ferrari 22
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 17
7 McLaren/Honda 10
8 Force India/Mercedes 8
9 Renault 6
10 Sauber/Ferrari 0
11 Manor/Mercedes 0

Da Autosport.com


GP Russia, commenti post


Raikkonen blames errors for missing Russian Grand Prix front row

Kimi Raikkonen blamed his own mistakes for his failure to get the Ferrari Formula 1 team on the front row for the Russian Grand Prix.

With Lewis Hamilton sidelined by an MGU-H problem and Raikkonen’s Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel facing a gearbox-change penalty, Raikkonen was potentially Nico Rosberg’s main rival for Sochi pole.

But he was only fourth fastest in Q3 behind Rosberg, Vettel and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, so will start third.

"I ran wide in the last corner but I’d been struggling all weekend to put any decent laps together," said Raikkonen of his last Q3 run.

"It was better in qualifying but I was still fighting with the fronts a bit in a few places.

"It was one of those days I think. The whole weekend I’ve been fighting with the set-up to find it and make the tyres work as we want.

"There’s been a few corners there I’ve been fighting all weekend. I think the last lap was pretty decent but in places it was still not ideal.

"Then I f***** it up in the last corner but it could’ve been an awful lot worse."

VETTEL STILL EYEING PODIUM

Vettel will start from seventh place on Sunday. He was eight tenths of a second slower than Rosberg’s pole time, but is optimistic about what he can salvage in the race.

"When you qualify second, that is where you sort of belong," he said of his podium chances.

"With the penalty, we start further back but we should be quicker than those cars in front.

"It’s not easy to pass, it’s not easy to follow, so we’ll see.

"I would have liked the gap to be a bit smaller, but in Q2 we saw Nico in particular was very strong at getting a lap in.

"A good job from his side. For us it was the maximum."

Ferrari used three engine development tokens for an upgrade prior to Sochi.

Raikkonen played down the effect this would have.

"It’s working as we expect so it’s not the massive things," he said.

"It’s small improvements here and there with the car and the whole package.

"People are very interested – ‘oh you have a new engine’ – but we put new parts on all the time and try to improve all areas so it’s a very normal thing."

Da Autosport.com



Russian Grand Prix – “I think in the race it will be better”

Kimi ‘disappointed’ for last corner error

“The whole weekend has been tricky: for whatever reason, I struggled all the time to put one decent lap together. In qualifying it was a bit better, but I was still fighting with the front end in a few places. It could have been good enough for a second or a third place on the grid, but on my last lap I completely missed the last corner and slid away. Obviously I’m a disappointed with what happened, but considering how difficult it has been, this result it’s not ideal but it’s better than nothing. At least we are in third place at the start, we’ll see what happens tomorrow, I think in the race it’s going to be better.”

Da Ferrari.com


GP Russia, prove del sabato–30/04/2016


Rosberg cruises to Russian GP pole, more trouble for Hamilton

Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Russian Grand Prix comfortably, as engine failure sidelined Lewis Hamilton from the qualifying battle for the second Formula 1 race in succession.

Hamilton had a narrow edge over his Mercedes F1 team-mate in the first part of qualifying at Sochi, but was trailing by nearly half a second in Q2 when he suffered a recurrence of the MGU-H failure that ruined his efforts at Shanghai last time out.

That left Hamilton 10th and without a time in Q3, while Rosberg enjoyed a clear path to pole, beating Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari to top spot by more than seven tenths of a second.

Compounding Hamilton’s misery, he faces a trip to the stewards to explain why he failed to follow the proper procedure for rejoining from the Turn 2 run-off area after a Q1 mistake.

Rosberg was able to lap comfortably in the 1m35s in Q2 and Q3. He was on for a better lap at the end of Q3 before locking up his brakes and running off track at the end of the long back straight.

Vettel chipped his way into the low 1m36s, but Ferrari and its updated combustion engine had no answer for Mercedes’ impressive pace.

Vettel will start seventh on account of a penalty for changing his gearbox after Friday practice.

That means Williams driver Valtteri Bottas will enjoy his first front row start since the 2014 German GP, after outpacing the second Ferrari of fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen by 0.127s.

The second Williams of Felipe Massa was fifth fastest, almost half a second adrift of Bottas, while Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull rounded out the top six.

Sergio Perez impressively split Ricciardo from Red Bull team-mate Daniil Kvyat by going seventh fastest.

Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso lapped 0.124s slower than Kvyat to end up ninth.

A late improvement from Kvyat in the dying moments of Q2 relegated the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr to 11th place.

Sainz failed to improve on his final run but remained half a tenth clear of Jenson Button in the better of the two McLaren-Hondas.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was 13th fastest, reckoning a lap that was nearly half a second adrift of Perez in Q2 to be "as good as it gets".

The second McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso was 0.036s slower in 14th, ahead of Haas pairing Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, who were separated by less than a tenth as Grosjean continued to complain about the unpredictability of his car.

The works Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer were more than two tenths away from making the Q2 cut, but separated by less than a tenth in 17th and 18th.

Sauber’s Felipe Nasr lay above the cut-off after his first run in Q1, but he went off at the start of his second and failed to improve his time.

The Brazilian wound up just 0.009s shy of Palmer’s time but well clear of Pascal Wehrlein in the best of the Manor-Mercedes.

The second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson seemed set to avoid a back-of-the-grid start after a last-gasp improvement, but Rio Haryanto hit back with a late show of his own to return the struggling Ericsson to the bottom of the pile.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.417s
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m36.536s 1.119s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.663s 1.246s
4 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m37.016s 1.599s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m37.125s 1.708s
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m37.212s 1.795s
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m36.123s 0.706s
8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m37.459s 2.042s
9 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m37.583s 2.166s
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m37.652s
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m37.701s
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m37.771s
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m37.807s
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m38.055s
16 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m38.115s
17 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m38.914s
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m39.009s
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m39.018s
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m39.399s
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m39.463s
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m39.519s

Da Autosport.com



Hamilton narrowly pips Rosberg in final Russian GP F1 practice

Lewis Hamilton grabbed top spot with his final fast lap of the third Formula 1 free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion had seemed to lack the pace to depose Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who spent much of the pair’s battle at the top of the timesheets as the low wear and degradation at Sochi allowed drivers to reel off multiple fast laps on each set of rubber.

But while Rosberg opted to pit after completing 22 laps, Hamilton continued for one final attempt on the super-soft rubber that all drivers used to set their fastest times

As was the case throughout much of the session, Hamilton was fastest in sector one, but this time he also set the fastest middle sector and, despite not being able to match Rosberg’s final sector pace, did enough to go fastest by 0.068 seconds.

Sebastian Vettel, who was slowest heading into the last runs after completing heavy fuel work for much of the session as he prepares for his grid penalty, jumped into contention for top spot in the final 10 minutes.

His mighty pace in the second sector briefly suggested he could challenge the Mercedes, but ultimately he was six-tenths down in third.

Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, seven-tenths slower than Vettel, but he could have been faster but for an error at the final corner on what might have been a stronger lap.

Williams duo Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who both briefly held best of the rest status behind the two Mercedes driver after setting times on their final set of tyres before the Ferrari drivers, ended up fifth and sixth.

Max Verstappen was seventh for Toro Rosso, with Jenson Button a solid eighth after being able to extract better performance out of the super-soft tyres than was the case on Friday.

Carlos Sainz Jr and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10, the latter having briefly triggered a virtual safety car after going up the escape road at the Turn 13 right-hander at the end of the back straight and then needing assistance from the marshals to complete his U-turn to rejoin.

Daniel Ricciardo, who held top spot in the early going, ended up 11th but completed a large number of laps, second only to Vettel, in preparation for the race.

PRACTICE THREE TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m36.403s 17
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m36.471s 0.068s 22
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m37.007s 0.604s 28
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m37.727s 1.324s 14
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m37.918s 1.515s 16
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m37.985s 1.582s 16
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m38.133s 1.730s 22
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m38.260s 1.857s 14
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m38.465s 2.062s 25
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m38.542s 2.139s 18
11 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m38.622s 2.219s 23
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m38.633s 2.230s 12
13 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m39.047s 2.644s 15
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m39.162s 2.759s 16
15 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m39.230s 2.827s 18
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m39.238s 2.835s 16
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m39.239s 2.836s 15
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m39.589s 3.186s 19
19 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m39.599s 3.196s 19
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m39.663s 3.260s 18
21 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m39.740s 3.337s 23
22 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m39.898s 3.495s 19

Da Autosport.com


GP Russia, commenti post libere–29/04/2016


Russian Grand Prix – ”Work to do on the set up”

Kimi not entirely happy with handling yet

It was not an ideal day, one of those days you struggle to make the tires work and get the car where you want. I wasn’t doing any proper lap, but today it’s only practice, I’m sure we can improve for tomorrow. Overall I think we just have to work on the set up to make it as we want and then it should be ok. We have a new engine and new parts on the car, so far it has been working well. We wouldn’t use any new thing if we did not expect it to be good.

Da Ferrari.com



Sebastian Vettel gets five-place Russian GP grid penalty

Sebastian Vettel has been handed a five-place grid penalty for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix after Ferrari elected to change his gearbox.

It is believed the gearbox sustained damage in his collision with F1 team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 1 at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Following practice and investigations in Russia, Ferrari has decided to change the unit.

It caps a difficult day for the German, who stopped on track 30 minutes into the second session with an electrical problem and did not return.

"It looks like we had an electronics problem which is a bit of a shame because we’re lacking a couple of laps, especially the long run and race trim to see how competitive we are," he said.

"Kimi did the homework for the team so [it’s] not too bad.

"Also in Sochi, we know roughly what to expect so we can still learn a lot from what other people did."

Raikkonen, who finished fourth fastest in second practice, added: "It’s not been an ideal day but from my side, we have to work to make the car the way we want.

"I didn’t get any good proper laps but it was practice."

Ferrari fitted a new upgraded engine to both Vettel and Raikkonen’s car after spending three development tokens.

Speaking about its performance, Raikkonen said: "It’s a new one and we wouldn’t use it if we didn’t expect it to be good."

Da Autosport.com

 


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

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.583s 30
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m38.235s 0.652s 10
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.450s 0.867s 37
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m38.793s 1.210s 35
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m39.084s 1.501s 34
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m39.185s 1.602s 42
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m39.193s 1.610s 32
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m39.196s 1.613s 31
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m39.289s 1.706s 38
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m39.400s 1.817s 30
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
15 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m40.193s 2.610s 41
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m40.260s 2.677s 24
17 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m40.508s 2.925s 26
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m40.688s 3.105s 37
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.740s 3.157s 31
20 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m41.080s 3.497s 38
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m41.148s 3.565s 23
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.652s 4.069s 29

Da Autosport.com



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

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.127s 32
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.849s 0.722s 31
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m39.175s 1.048s 19
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.332s 1.205s 18
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m39.365s 1.238s 14
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m39.650s 1.523s 24
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m39.802s 1.675s 34
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
11 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m40.663s 2.536s 19
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m40.771s 2.644s 18
13 Sergey Sirotkin Renault 1m40.898s 2.771s 24
14 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.085s 2.958s 21
15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m41.134s 3.007s 22
16 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m41.238s 3.111s 18
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m41.385s 3.258s 20
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m41.671s 3.544s 25
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.962s 3.835s 22
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m42.483s 4.356s 21
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m42.687s 4.560s 8
22 Alfonso Celis Force India/Mercedes 1m43.432s 5.305s 23

Da Autosport.com


GP Russia, intervista del giovedì–28/04/2016


Kimi’s plans to fine-tuning for a ‘nice’ track

“In the first races we had some struggles, but at least we got some points out of it. Our aim is to always do better, having a normal weekend, hopefully with no issues. It is a hard season but we have to keep working and make progress. We know we have things to be done and improved but we have a good package which would allow us to go quite happy in the race weekend. There are small details that can make a big difference in an overall result and we have to get the maximum out of it. We have to improve the areas we know we are not very happy with, making things better and driving better. About what happened in China, it’s not ideal but it’s part of racing and it’s in the past already, and anyway we managed to make a pretty good recovery and it was not a disaster. This track is quite nice. In the past years it has been quite tricky to make the tires work, especially on a short run. Last year the weather was pretty poor. This weekend probably for the first time we are going to have nice weather all the time, hopefully we are going to have a normal practice and go from there, but making fast laps is never easy, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow and move from there.”

Da Ferrari.com


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