Lewis Hamilton fired an ominous warning to championship rival Nico Rosberg by topping the timesheets by the best part of a second on the first official day’s running at the Sochi Autodrom. Rosberg had set the morning standard in his Mercedes but Hamilton struck back in the afternoon, lapping 0.864s quicker than nearest challenger Kevin Magnussen.
The inaugural Russian Grand Prix began in an understandably sombre atmosphere with thoughts still very much with Jules Bianchi who remains critically ill following his accident at Suzuka. Marussia announced prior to FP1 that they would compete, although Max Chilton would be their sole entrant.
The spectators in attendance did get to witness history in the opening session with Sergey Sirotkin taking part in a Grand Prix weekend for the first time. The Russian teenager performed admirably to finish seventeenth, just four tenths shy of his Sauber teammate Adrian Sutil, but the headlines were made by Mercedes as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton edged out the Mercedes-powered McLaren of Jenson Button.
Button continued to impress in the afternoon session, trading fastest times with Rosberg on the medium compound tyres but Kevin Magnussen soon overtook the pair of them after switching to the softs. The Dane’s 1:40.494 was the fastest time of the day so far but Hamilton raised the bar on his option tyre run, breaking into the 1:39s with apparent ease.
Hamilton ended the afternoon eight tenths clear of Magnussen with Fernando Alonso leapfrogging Rosberg into fourth with a late run on softs. Valtteri Bottas pushed Button down to sixth with the second Williams of Felipe Massa just 0.013s shy of the McLaren in seventh. The Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were eighth and tenth, sandwiching the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. The reigning constructors’ champions, for now at least, had an awful day with Daniel Ricciardo brought to a halt late on with an apparent power unit failure.
|2014 FORMULA 1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX – FRIDAY PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION|
|2||20||KEVIN MAGNUSSEN||McLAREN MERCEDES||1:40.494||FP2|
|5||77||VALTTERI BOTTAS||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:40.573||FP2|
|6||22||JENSON BUTTON||McLAREN MERCEDES||1:40.718||FP2|
|7||19||FELIPE MASSA||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:40.731||FP2|
|8||26||DANIIL KVYAT||STR RENAULT||1:41.108||FP2|
|9||1||SEBASTIAN VETTEL||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||1:41.396||FP2|
|10||25||JEAN-ERIC VERGNE||STR RENAULT||1:41.531||FP2|
|12||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:41.677||FP2|
|13||3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||1:42.061||FP2|
|14||11||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:42.090||FP2|
|15||99||ADRIAN SUTIL||SAUBER FERRARI||1:42.233||FP2|
|16||8||ROMAIN GROSJEAN||LOTUS RENAULT||1:42.892||FP2|
|17||13||PASTOR MALDONADO||LOTUS RENAULT||1:42.905||FP2|
|18||21||ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ||SAUBER FERRARI||1:43.055||FP2|
|19||9||MARCUS ERICSSON||CATERHAM RENAULT||1:44.135||FP2|
|20||4||MAX CHILTON||MARUSSIA FERRARI||1:44.530||FP2|
|21||10||KAMUI KOBAYASHI||CATERHAM RENAULT||1:44.952||FP2|
|22||37||SERGEY SIROTKIN||SAUBER FERRARI||1:45.032||FP1|
|23||45||ROBERTO MERHI||CATERHAM RENAULT||1:46.782||FP1|