Russian Grand Prix: Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finishes on top in first practice session
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News April 28, 2017 Updated: 4:45 PM
SOCHI, Russia -- Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen took the top spot in the first practice session for the Russian Grand Prix Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas to top spot in opening practice.
Raikkonen ended the day with a time of 1:36.074 saying "we have no idea what the others are doing, but we started well and I’m quite happy. We’ll try to make a good day tomorrow and then we’ll go from there," He finished 0.045s ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who finished second and was 0.5s ahead of his teammate.
"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 tires on long runs and short runs and it seems like over one lap we still have work to do to get the maximum out of the UltraSoft tire - that’s our focus tonight," Bottas said.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen ended the session fourth who said: "The gap to Mercedes and Ferrari looks bigger here because of the long straight; and we are down on power and downforce which makes not only the straights but also the corners tricky."
Kimi Raikkonen's teammate Sebastian Vettel took fifth after having a spin just before the end of the session.
Verstappen's teammate Daniel Ricciardo took sixth ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez who continues to show solid pace in the midfield. Williams Felipe Massa finished eighth with teammate Lance Stroll in ninth.
Esteban Ocon ended the day 10th in the second Force India towards the end of the session Ocon's engine cover tore off as he entered Turn 2.
“A pretty solid day overall. I feel we’ve got to a point where we understand how the car is working around this track and we know where we can make improvements. I felt very confident with the car all day, but especially in the second session, and I was able to get the tyres to work, which is not easy on a track like this," Ocon said.
Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat finished 11th on his home turf ahead of Haas' Kevin Magnussen finished 12th as the team took the time to get acquainted with their new Carbon Industrie brakes since switching from Brembo. If things fail to work their new set of breaks it's possible they may switch back to Brembo.
McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso ended the day 13th with, Kvyat's Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz finished 14th ahead of Renault's Jolyon Palmer in 15th with Haas' Romain Grosjean taking 16th as he to was giving feedback on the teams new brakes.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said "We had a lot to do and I think we did a lot. We still haven’t got all the results yet, as we need to go through data. I would say the issues with the brakes were mainly because they’re new to us. We need to find out how they work. Going through the data, we will decide tomorrow what we’re doing and how we continue."
Alonso's teammate Stoffel Vandoorne in 17th, who complained about a loss of engine power at the end of the session. Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein finished 18th ahead teammate Marcus Ericsson in 19th.
Renault test driver Sergey Sirotkin who subbed in for Nico Hulkenberg wasnt able to drive in from of his home crowd.