Mercedes fastest in FP2 in Russia

Mercedes fastest in FP2 in Russia

Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton
photo: Michael Potts

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas took the first and second positions in the second free Friday practice for the F1 Russian Grand prix. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull were third and fourth. Meanwhile, their Ferrari rivals Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen took the fifth and sixth places.

Hamilton and Bottas did not try at all the hypersoft tyres in FP1. That is the softest compound that Pirelli has given to the F1 teams for the weekend in Sochi. They went straight to the top of the standings right after putting on the marked with pink tyres.

The order behind Hamilton and Bottas formed quite quickly. There were qualifying simulations in the first part of FP2 but for most of its second half the teams were working on race preparation. Drivers concluded that the front left tyre got most of the load. Thus it degraded significantly faster than the others.

Some of the drivers – like Marcus Ericsson and Lance Stroll – were not very happy with their cars. Stroll reported at the end of the session that probably something in his Williams broke down after he climbed a kerb. Pierre Gasly complained of power delivery in the last sector. Vettel had a half spin a bit before the chequered flag but there were no serious incidents.