2017 Russian Grand Prix Practice
Another week in the world of Formula 1 and we’re back for the Russian Grand Prix Practice which took place in Sochi today.
In this post, we’re taking a look at what happened during the day, seeing what the teams and drivers had to say after their practice sessions ahead of the Russian Grand Prix this weekend.
Overall, the Ferrari team dominated the practice session – topping the time sheets. Raikkonen in the morning followed by Vettel during the second practice session.
Mercedes – 2017 Russian Grand Prix Practice
The team looked good on the soft compound during FP1 but struggled on the softer compounds during FP2.
The drivers (Hamilton and Bottas) faced a tough day as neither of them could find the perfect balance in the car and also the tyres were not ‘switched on’ to allow them to maximise the potential from their cars.
FP1 – 1:36.681 (Position 3)
FP2 – 1:34.829 (Position 4)
“It was a bit difficult for us today. We managed to complete everything that we needed to do on our runs but in terms of balance of the car – the Ferrari seemed very, very fast on the long runs so we need to look at that and see how we can improve our pace.”
“There’s still everything to play for – the tyres feel very peaky so it’s easy to drop out of the window of performance but when they’re working, the seem to be good!”
FP1 – 1:36.119 (Position 2)
FP2 – 1:34.790 (Position 3)
“It was an interesting day. It’s a very different situation here with the asphalt and the temperatures compared to what we experienced in Bahrain. We were learning about the tyres on long runs and short runs and it seems like over one lap – we still have a lot of work to do to get the maximum out of the UltraSoft Tyre – that will be our focus tonight.”
“We can’t forget how important the race is, we have started the weekend int he right way. The car feel good and the balance is almost there.”
‘A good start but we definitely need to work hard and to find some lap time for qualifying.”
James Allison – Technical Director
“We enjoyed plenty of useful running with both drivers having untroubled sessions – completing the planned programme.”
“It’s pretty clear from both the long run pace and the set-up runs that we still have a bit more work to do to be on equal terms with Ferrari.”
“We will set about cutting that gap overnight and hopefully we will have a car that’s able to get the job done on Saturday and Sunday.”
Ferrari – 2017 Russian Grand Prix Practice
The team had a pretty good day with both their drivers in the lead and topping the time sheets.
Their tyres were in their operating window and along with the balance of the car – things seemed to be an easy task for the team compared to most the drivers out on track.
Known for saying what he thinks, Vettel also suggested that Mercedes could be sandbagging “Don’t be fooled, they are looking very strong again this weekend….“
FP1 – 1:37.230 (Position 5)
FP2 – 1:34.120 (Position 1)
“I think we have improved so I can be reasonably happy but not entirely – we had a tough start this morning and it took a while to increase the speed and I’m sure than we can still do more.”
“This is a circuit where you need to feel confident, there’s a lot of corners that look the same and on paper, they feel similar in the car but then it’s quite tricky to get everything right!”
“I wish they had planted more trees near the track so we could make references – it’s tricky but that’s why you need to get into the rhythm.”
“I struggled this morning but we understood what we needed.”
“We are a team that always fights for pole position – that’s for sure but on paper this looks like a Mercedes one, they didn’t show everything today and didn’t get their lap together so we’ll see.”
FP1 – 1:36.074 (Position 1)
FP2 – 1:34.383 (Position 2)
“It’s been a nice Friday, things ran smoothly and we had no issues – I’m happy with care and I had a nice feeling straight away and it’s always more fun when it goes like that.”
“So far, so good – it’s only Friday but we have no idea what the others are doing but we have started well. I’m quite happy.”
“We’ll try to make a good day tomorrow and then we’ll go from there.”
Red Bull – 2017 Russian Grand Prix Practice
Red Bull had a lot to work through in today’s practice session and also saw the Red Bull of Max Verstappen stop on-track with a loss of power which the team have said was due the fuel pressure.
FP1 – 1:37.290 (Position 6)
FP2 – 1:35.910 (Position 6)
“We had some good signs throughout the day while we experience some drops among the peaks. I was happy with the car and on the Supersoft tyre but we didn’t managed to find as much time as the others.”
“We need to work on that a bit – the balance on the other hand was good so I think if we can managed to get the same feeling with the Ultrasoft tomorrow, then we should be looking ok.”
“People keep asking if the upgrades are coming to Barcelona but first we need to maximise what we do have for the current car and package here this weekend, we can definitely make improvements – thats for sure.”
“As far as positions go in qualifying – we are still behind the Mercedes and Ferrari so I don’t think the picture will change too much.”
“I would say that at the moment, Ferrari look the best after today’s running.”
FP1 – 1:37.174 (Position 4)
FP2 – 1:35.540 (Position 5)
“We ended up stopping sooner than planned due to a problem – it was to do with the fuel pressure.”
“It’s a bit of a shame as it prevented us from doing a long run but luckily Daniel did one so we at least have some data for Sunday. This track is not one of our favourites – we knew it when we were coming here and we know that it’s going to be a tough weekend.”
“We need to try and make the best out of it – the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari looks bigger here now because of the long straight and we are down on power and downforce.”
“I think qualifying will be interesting due to the challenge of warming up the tyres and it’s the same for everyone so putting in one perfect lap – won’t be enough!”
“Realistically, I would say that our aim is fifth and sixth for Sunday.”
Force India – 2017 Russian Grand Prix Practice
Both Perez and Ocon were well matched in the second Practice session – overall, it was a solid day for the team who are looking strong in the midfield.
FP1 – 1:37.457 (Position 7)
FP2 – 1:36.600 (Position 10)
“Finding the balance around this track is not easy but I think we’re in a good place at the moment, I felt happy in the car.”
“We completed a lot of laps and using all the tyre compounds, there’s a lot of data to analyse and I am confident that we can be competitive tomorrow – it’s going to be an exciting battle in the midfield and I believe we will be strong.”
FP1 – 1:38.065 (Position 10)
FP2 – 1:36.654 (Position 11)
“A pretty solid day overall, I feel like we have now gotten to a point where we understand how the car is working around the track and we know where we can make the improvements.”
“I am very confident with the car and have been all day – especially in the second session.”
“I was able to get the tyres to work and it’s not easy on a track like this! We still have a lot to discuss tonight but I am satisfied with what we have achieved today and I hope that the rest of the weekend continues like this.”
McLaren – 2017 Russian Grand Prix Practice
Alonso managed to push as hard as he could during the practice sessions however his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne had a problem with loss of power.
This has required a fifth turbocharger of the year and a fifth MGU-H for FP2 – a massive disappointment for the team as he now faces a 15 grid place penalty.
FP1 – 1:38.813 (Position 13)
FP2 – 1:36.765 (Position 12)
“This is something of a power circuit so with our car, it basically has the same configuration as Bahrain.”
“We’re not expecting much of a step forward this weekend and I think it’s going to be interesting in terms of what we can achieve on track.”
“We’ve been testing the tyres throughout out the sessions and they seem to last for a very long time and to also be consistent during the running so it’s likely that we could have a one-stop race, as predicted.”
“We need to find a way to speed up the way the tyres warm up.”
“Friday’s homework is now done – let’s see what we can learn tomorrow.”
FP1 – 1:39.541 (Position 17)
FP2 – 1:37.125 (Position 16)
“We had the same engine problems again in FP1 and that means that we get a 15-place grid penalty this weekend.”
“Still, it was really only a matter of time before we got a penalty since the start as it’s been a tough season for us.”
“Unfortunately today, it was a tough day – you have to try and learn from this in the best way and just move on from it. There’s nothing else that we can do about the situation we are in at the moment but lets hope some improvements will come soon.”
“FP2 was’t 100% a problem-free session but at least we were able to get some laps under our belts.”
Sauber – 2017 Russian Grand Prix Practice
Sauber were yet another team to suffer with balance and grip problems today – there’s a lot of work ahead for the team this weekend so let’s see what was said.
FP1 – 1:40.079 (Position 19)
FP2 – 1:37.819 (Position 20)
“It was not the best Friday for us – we managed to find some improvements during the test days in Bahrain but we couldn’t get them to work here as we wanted.”
“The track conditions are quite different and with the lower temperatures here it wasn’t satisfying.”
“FP2, things were getting better but we still have plenty of work to do for the rest of the weekend – we need to understand and go through the areas in which we can improve from and find more time.”
FP1 – 1:39.731 (Position 18)
FP2 – 1:37.441 (Position 18)
“It’s good to be back here and in the car again. Although we had difficulties with the balance of the car, especially with regards to the rear – the temperatures here in Sochi are now comparable to the test days in Bahrain.”
“We need to analyse the information and date which we collected in order to make improvements for tomorrow.”
So far, we are not yet where we want to be.”
Lots more coming soon!