Max Verstappen has warned rivals he is a force to be reckoned with this weekend at Sochi. The Dutchman Red Bull driver went fastest in the second practice session, topping Charles Leclerc, who was fastest in the morning session.
Verstappen enjoyed a 0.335s advantage over man on form Leclerc, triggering the Dutchman to state after the session that his weekend so far has been really positive.
“The whole day already, the last sector has been really good, so if you have a good feeling with the car then of course the car comes alive in the last sector, which is very positive especially after Singapore where it was a bit of a struggle. Yeah we’ve made some good set-up directions here,” he said.
Behind Leclerc in second was Valtteri Bottas. The 2017 Sochi winner was nearly 7 tenths slower than the pace setter, though it appeared, just in in FP1, that Mercedes weren't totally focused on high performance runs, and aiming more towards setup optimisation for long runs.
Pierre Gasly ended up 6th fastest for Toro Rosso, 2 tenths ahead of Red Bull's Albon who was just 10th. In between them are the Racing Point cars of Perez and Stroll, with Hulkenberg sandwished in between them.
Lando Norris was the fastest McLaren driver in 11th, and with Carlos Sainz just 17th, McLaren have work to do overnight.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:33.162||-||29|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:33.808||+0.646s||22|
|4||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:33.960||+0.798s||32|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:34.971||+1.809s||26|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:34.998||+1.836s||31|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:35.176||+2.014s||31|
|10||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:35.216||+2.054s||18|
|11||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:35.223||+2.061s||33|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:35.337||+2.175s||38|
|13||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:35.351||+2.189s||26|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:35.374||+2.212s||34|
|16||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:35.593||+2.431s||31|
|17||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:35.635||+2.473s||29|
|18||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:36.004||+2.842s||29|
|19||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:36.785||+3.623s||38|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:37.838||+4.676s||36|