Russian Grand Prix FP1 was another session led by Bottas with variance throughout the field. But will it hold making for an interesting race in Sochi?
Bottas led the way The Russian Grand Prix FP1 session Sochi by half a second with Ricciardo and Verstappen trailing comfortably in P2 & P3, respectively. In one of the worst sessions of his career, Hamilton falls to P19 unable to string together a solid lap and generally frustrated with his session. Valtteri needs all the fortune he can get his hands on now that he’s down over 2 full race wins worth of points (55) in the Drivers Championship. What’s interesting about Hamilton’s session is his flat spotting his existing rubber which will affect his tyre choices. Mind you, the Mercedes doesn’t perform optimally in hot conditions especially given this is the softest tyre allocation Pirelli have elected in C3, C4, and C5.
Verstappen’s prediction of seeing the Renault and Racing Point cars quicker in Sochi may just be coming true before our very eyes with Daniel putting together a good session on softs and the Racing Points of Perez and Stroll rounding out the top 5 as a pair splitting the French outfit as Ocon finishes P6.
Home racer Daniil Kvyat sits P7 and notably was quickest on C4 yellow boots which COULD leave him open to a contra strategy to get through to Q3 on yellows given the top 6 ran on the softest red tyres. Albon was a distant 8th in Russia where last year he struggled in the practice sessions as well. Hopefully he can continue his momentum. With Hamilton experiencing such a rough session, he may be able to help Max shake things up come race day.
Vettel snuck in the top 10 at P9 with Gasly closing out the points finishes in P10. See the results below for the rest of the results from The Russian Grand Prix FP1 session.
Russian Grand Prix Grand Prix FP1 Results
Below are the final results for The Russian Grand Prix FP1 session:
|3||33||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:35.577||+0.654s||22|
|4||11||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:35.796||+0.873s||23|
|5||18||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:35.965||+1.042s||21|
|8||23||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:36.254||+1.331s||24|
|14||99||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:37.201||+2.278s||17|
|15||7||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:37.230||+2.307s||23|
Russian Grand Prix FP1 Outlook
There were two shunts in the first session with Carlos Sainz and Nicholas Latifi both losing their front wings thanks to the unforgiving barriers in Sochi. Both should return for FP2 just fine despite not making it back out. The red pirelli C5 compounds has made for an interesting race in each showing this year. With flat spots emerging through sessions and limited tyre availability, this weekend is already shaping up to be a solid race. But the following questions reverberate throughout the weekend loudly:
- Will Hamilton recover?
- Will Albon keep proving his status at Red Bull?
- Does the Ferrari have some pace to show after upgrades having landed?
Only time will tell. Keep up to date on The Russian Grand Prix at the Cranky Yankee Motorsport News Hub for all your Formula 1 coverage.
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