Ferrari display clear advantage in Sochi FP2

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Russia, Sochi International Street Circuitru

Even though Sebastian Vettel claimed on Thursday that Mercedes are the clear favourites for this Russian Grand Prix weekend, it was the German himself, accompanied by team mate Kimi Räikkönen who edged ahead, and clearly so.

The Mercedes works drivers finished third and fourth, but neither could keep their disandvantage to Ferrari to below half a second. Mercedes appeared to be closer, and perhaps had a bit of an edge on the soft tyres, but when the ultra softs were brought out of the boxes, Ferrari were simply in a class of their own.

The trick however seemed to be in getting the tyres to work to their best, with the Pirelli's being fastest after 2 or three laps. Both Ferrari drivers seemed much better at getting it right. Bottas didn't get close while Hamilton was denied his third lap on the ultra softs due to locking up badly to avoid a collision with Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber in Turn 13.

Fifth fastest Max Verstappen was even further back, 1.4 seconds down on the pace setter. His team mate at Red Bull Racing had to live with an extra 3 tenths deficit.

After the short runs, the gap between the top six appeared to be similar again, boding well for Ferrari for the remainder of the weekend.

Meanwhile there was trouble again for McLaren as Stoffel Vandoorne's car was fitted with a 5th new turbo and ERS-H, totalling for a 15-place grid drop for Sunday's race. That almost certainly puts him at the back of the grid.

Max Verstappen lost power as well, 20 minutes from the end of the session, due to a fuel pressure problem.


15Sebastian VettelFerrari1:34.120-36
27Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:34.383+0.263s36
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1:34.790+0.670s36
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:34.829+0.709s34
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:35.540+1.420s15
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:35.910+1.790s26
719Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:36.261+2.141s39
827Nico HulkenbergRenault1:36.329+2.209s38
920Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:36.506+2.386s31
1011Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:36.600+2.480s38
1131Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:36.654+2.534s39
1214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:36.765+2.645s27
1330Jolyon PalmerRenault1:36.771+2.651s22
148Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:37.039+2.919s31
1555Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:37.083+2.963s36
162Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda1:37.125+3.005s25
1726Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:37.300+3.180s35
1894Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari1:37.441+3.321s30
1918Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:37.747+3.627s36
209Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:37.819+3.699s29