2019 Russian Grand Prix Free Practice

2019 Russian Grand Prix Free Practice

Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 3 Results

Ferrari continue to dominate as Leclerc doesn’t even look beatable at this point. Albon’s pressure is mounting – a slip up in qualifying could put him in a spiral that it would be hard to return from. Max on the other hand is putting in strong laps for Red Bull. Mercedes appear to be on their back foot and chasing down the Ferrari drivers. Speaking of chasing, Vettel in the same car as Charles Leclerc has that in common with Mercedes and is struggling to keep pace with the young phenom from Monaco. Qualifying will be an exciting event as you have 9 world championships between Hamilton and Vettel hunting down a 21 year old on a mission. 

Lewis Hamilton In FP3

We’re still 1.1 seconds down on time? Ain’t no way we’re finding that time.

See the final time table below with gaps, laps, and best runs captured for the Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 3 Results:

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Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 2 Summary Commentary

The Russian Grand Prix FP2 session saw the top two drivers flip flop with Verstappen leading the session that he set during his quali run. This is typically indicative of how the qualifying session will turn out but there there is no chance for the result to hold as Max has an engine penalty so pole is out of the question. It does set up a scary good Suzuka, though. Regardless, Red Bull appear to have the one lap advantage with Ferrari leading in the longer, race-like runs.

Verstappen’s teammate Alex Albon had a decidedly worse time in the second session with floor troubles plaguing him and when he did come back, he never really put together a clean lap. No major incidents this session but below I’ll list out the qualifying simulations as well as the race simulations so you have a good handle of what to expect going into Saturday.

Qualifying Simulations

The Red Bull looked very good and stuck on rails around the Russian track. There was a lot of traffic that dampened many of the drivers attempts and stringing together the corners, but the sims played out as follows:

  1. Verstappen: 1:33.162
  2. Leclerc: +0.335
  3. Bottas: +0.776
  4. Hamilton: +0.885
  5. Vettel: +1.039

Race Simulations

What most striking about the race sims was how poorly Hamilton and the Mercedes looked going around the track. It really did look “heavier”. Mercedes looked less nimble and might have exposed a weakness with the medium speed corners as it relates to the balance of the car. 

Leclerc's Medium Compound Race Sim (seconds)

Verstappen's Medium Compound Race Sim (seconds)

Vettel's Soft Compound Race Sim (seconds)

Verstappen's Soft Compound Race Sim (seconds)

Hamilton's Medium Compound Lap Time*3 laps (seconds)

Bottas Medium Compound Lap Time (seconds)

Flying Dutchman Returns & The Data Favors Vettel In FP2

Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 2 Results

See the live time table below with gaps, laps, and best runs captured for the Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 2 Results:

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The Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 1 was one again dominated by Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari as has been the tradition late. The sophomore Scuderia driver put in a lap time of 1:34.462 to lead the session. Max Verstappen’s Honda put in an impressive 1:34.544 with only 17 minutes late – which is unusual to see a car outside of the two speed dominant constructors be so close, so late in an early session. Regardless of his lap times today, Verstappen will be battling a 5 place grid penalty. Rounding out the top 3 is the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel a half second off his teammate.

Free Practice Session 1 saw late session action but was business as usual. Many of them are there to set up for the next grand prix’s. And with Suzuka around the corner, Red Bull were especially having heavy aero runs. Mercedes brought one less soft tyre than Ferrari and Red Bull hence why the silver arrows are down in time as most of the runs were on softs for the first session.

The home grand prix wasn’t very welcoming for Kvyat who has a fuel system issue but is expected to be fixed by FP2. The Russian was only able to get 5 laps worth of data in the early session.

Russian Grand Prix Free Practice 1 Errors

A couple drivers having a spin with Giovinazzi being one of them but he was able to avoid the wall. Robert Kubica also taking his Williams for a nice spin during the Russian grand prix practice session. 

Daniel Ricciardo having the most egregious error of the session, and with only 30 seconds to spare. He threw his Renault’s rear directly into a barrier at some fairly heavy force. It’s highly likely he’ll be back for FP2 but his limp back to the pits was with a few less parts.

Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 1 Results

See the live time table below with gaps, laps, and best runs captured for the Russian Grand Prix Free Practice Session 1 Results:

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