Russian Grand Prix: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel tops Mercedes in second practice session
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News April 28, 2017 Updated: 4:22 PM
SOCHI, Russia -- Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel along with teammate Kimi Raikkonen took the top spots in the second practice for the Russian Grand Prix as the Scuderia put down a dominant pace ahead of Saturday's qualifying.
“I think we improved so I can be reasonably happy but not entirely. We had a tough start this morning and it took a while to increase speed. I am sure we can still do more," Vettel said.
Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen who finished on top earlier in FP1, said “It’s been a nice Friday, things ran smoothly and we had no issues. I’m happy with the car, I had a nice feeling straight away and it’s always more fun when it goes like that." Raikkonen finished FP2 in second with a time of a 1:34.120 putting a sizable gap to Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas by 0.670s in third.
Bottas finished ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton, who went on to say "We managed to complete everything that we needed to do on our runs, but in terms of the balance of the car, the Ferrari seemed very, very fast on the long runs, so we need to work out how we can improve our pace. But there’s still everything to play for." Hamilton had a difficult time getting a clean lap finishing with a time of 1:34.829 in fourth.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished the session fifth but ran into a fuel pressure issue while teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth.
Williams Felipe Massa ended the day seventh, with Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finishing eighth. Haas who continue to show impressive pace with Kevin Magnussen finishing ninth, while Force India's Sergio Perez ended the session in 10th, while teammate Esteban Ocon took 11th.
McLaren-Honda driver Fernando finished the day 12th, with Hulkenberg's teammate Jolyon Palmer took 13th.
The second Haas of Romain Grosjean finished 14th despite Grosjean having trouble with his breaks as the team have switched from Brembo to Carbon Industrie he still feels the day went well.
"We need to look at a few issues on the balance, normal stuff like that, but the baseline is quite good. The balance of the track is evolving in each session, but the balance in the car is similar, so that’s a good sign. We’ll keep working and try and iron out the small balance issues that we have," Grosjean said.
Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz crossed the line 15th. Alonso's teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finish 16th as he will have a very difficult weekend as he will have to a 15-spot grid penalty for a power unit change which used his fifth MGU-H and fifth turbocharger, while Sainz Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat finished 17th.
“We had some engine problems again in FP1 – and that means we get a 15-place grid penalty this weekend. Still, it was really only a matter of time before we got a penalty since the start of the season has been tough for us," Vandoorne said.
Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein ended the day 18th, with Williams Lance Stroll in 19th, while Wehrlein's teammate Marcus Ericsson ended the day 20th.