Notebook – Russia Practice

Features Notebook

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton topped one practice session each during Friday’s practices for the Russian Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s woes continue

Ferrari appear to be struggling off and on track but still are very close to the silver arrows on track. The team didn’t really show their hands with Sebastian Vettel having the electronic failure in FP2 so he couldn’t really show is long run pace. Plus not running the super soft tyres doesn’t help them to show there pace.

Speaking about the problems Vettel told Sky Sports “The balance was not quite where I wanted it to be, but the circuit should come our way. It was quite slippery. Lacking a bit of information from my side but other people did their homework and hopefully we can copy that a bit.”

Mercedes battle

The Mercedes drivers in FP1 looked quite evenly matched on pace with both within tenths of each other. But the gap may have been closer if the they didn’t make mistakes and ran on the supersofts Vettel could of maybe challenged the Mercedes.

In FP2 they Hamilton was .9 seconds faster than Rosberg but Vettel managed to split the two before his electronic failure. Rosberg also in the session appeared to be caught up in traffic so he wasn’t able to fight Hamilton. But it sets up for a interesting qualifying session.


Daniel Riccardo tested Red Bull’s ‘aeroscreen’ on track which is designed to protect drivers from debris. This has prompted debate about the fundamental open cockpit future. Hamilton who hasn’t been a fan of any head protects says there’s element of jeopardy should be retained in the sport.

“When I get in my car I know that there is a danger – that’s been the same since I started when I was eight years old.” He added “It is a constant thing that always needs to be worked on, but as long as it doesn’t affect the aesthetics, the style and the coolness of Formula 1”

Ricciardio’s team-mate Daniil Kyvat was more causous saying “I’m still not sure about the concept. Aesthetically I don’t think it looked that bad, it’s better looking than the halo, for sure.”

Adding “”We have to see what the fans think. If it takes too much away of the old fashioned look then we shouldn’t do it. But if they can accept it…”

Button was more in favour saying “i prefer the look of it, I think it looks better than a normal Formula 1 car. But I think we have to look at the safety and what one is better for safety.”

“I think in a couple of years time if we did go for the design that was on the Red Bull today we will look back and think the cars look weird without it.

Qualifying preview

The session maybe dominate by Mercedes as Vettel have lost that bit of information about tyres. The session will be close between the two Mercedes and there might be a Red Bull or Williams in the mix.



Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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