Mercedes continues the streak in Sochi and dominates the first free practice
Mercedes, with the Finn Valtteri Bottas at the front, he began dominating in one of his forts, the Sochi circuit, where this weekend the fifteenth date of the Formula 1 World Cup, the Russian Grand Prix.
The premier class returned after the Italian Grand Prix incident, in Monza, between Lewis hamilton (Mercedes) and Max verstappen (Red bull), who will be penalized with three positions on the starting grid in Sunday's race.
With the rain forecast for Saturday's qualifying day, which could even be postponed to the day of the race, the sun accompanied the first free of the weekend and the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) was commissioned to release the track with hard tires. His teammate, the Monegasque Charles LeclercIt did so with a new power unit, a change that affects the hybrid part and that will relegate it to the last place on the starting grid. He chose to start the test with soft. Sainz's teammate soon detected strange sensations in the car, who headed to the pits after a quarter of an hour of shooting for some tinkering to finish the session in fourth place.
The whole grill started from the hard except for Leclerc, Mazepin (Haas), who did it with medium, and Verstappen, who used the same compound as Ferrari's. The first record of the Dutchman was "horrible", at least that is how he transmitted it by radio, but it did not take long to set the best time provisionally (1: 36.055).
With finnish Kimi raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) back after missing two calendar appointments for covid-19, the Mercedes of his compatriot Valtteri Bottas (1: 34.427) and the British Lewis Hamilton settled in the first two positions, in that order, and did not abandon them. Verstappen approached them both, Carlos Sainz improved positions and finished seventh, while Alonso (Alpine) stood tenth, with the Mexican Sergio 'Checo' Pérez (Red Bull) ahead.
The first test ran smoothly, apart from the fact that some had problems to draw turn two, the sprint that one of the stewards starred in to eliminate some part in the pit lane exit area that forced the application of the virtual safety car, and in a stroke of Lando norris (Mclaren) at the pit entrance with the checkered flag waving.
At 2:00 p.m. (CET), the second session will be held training for the Russian Grand Prix.
Classification of Free Practice 1 of the Russian Grand Prix
.1. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes): 1: 34.427
.2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes): 1: 34.638
.3. Max Verstappen (HOL / Red Bull): 1: 34.654
.4. Charles Leclerc (MON / Ferrari): 1: 35.117
.5. Sebastian Vettel (ALE / Aston Martin): 1: 35.781
.6. Pierre Gasly (FRA / AlphaTauri): 1: 35.794
.7. Carlos Sainz (ESP / Ferrari): 1: 35.811
.8. Lando Norris GBR / McLaren): 1: 35.959
.9. Sergio Pérez (MEX / Red Bull): 1: 36.188
10. Fernando Alonso (ESP / Alpine): 1: 36.225
11. Esteban Ocon (FRA / Alpine): 1: 36.236
12. Lance Stroll (CAN / Aston Martin): 1: 36.522
13. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA / Alfa Romeo): 1: 36.795
14. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS / McLaren): 1: 36.877
15. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN / Alfa Romeo): 1: 36.952
16. Yuki Tsunoda (JAP / AlphaTuari): 1: 37.794
17. George Russell (GBR / Williams): 1; 38,013
18. Nicholas Latifi (CAN / Williams): 1: 38.155
19. Nikita Mazepin (RUS / Haas): 1: 38.586
20. Mick Schumacher (ALE / Haas): 1: 38,977.