This weekend sees the third running of a Russian Grand Prix and in this morning’s first free practice session, the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest.
After an installation lap on the Medium tyres, the two SF16-Hs took to the track using two sets of Softs: Vettel did 19 laps on his way to third place in 1.39.175, while Raikkonen did one less lap to be fourth in 1.39.332.
Today’s priority was an evaluation of new aerodynamic components. Topping the time sheet was the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg with a 1.38.127 and Lewis Hamilton in 1.38.849, both men setting their time on the Supersoft tyres.
Kimi Raikkonen: “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.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Looks like we had an electric problem, but I am sure we can fix it. Still, it is a shame, because now we are lacking some laps, especially in the long runs on race trims, which would have allowed us to see how competitive we are. But Kimi did the homework for the team, so it is not too bad. Also, here in Russia we know roughly what to expect. I think we can still learn a lot from what other people did. In Qualifying trim we still have some stuff to improve. I think the car was getting better though. The track was quite dirty in the morning and then during the day it came more towards us. I felt happier as the day continued, it’s true that for the race we are lacking a bit of information, but we will see tomorrow morning, when we have another practice session.”