Scuderia Ferrari topped Free Practice 2 and Free Practice in Sochi today, with Kimi Raikkonen topping the first practice session and Vettel going fastest in the second.
FP1 was led by the two Fins on the grid, with Raikkonen turning in a lap that was just 0.042 seconds faster than that of Mercedes-AMG Petronas driver Valtteri Bottas. Lewis Hamilton made it 2-3 for the Mercedes cars with a lap of 1:36.681, which was just over half a second slower than Bottas’ time.
Behind Hamilton in fourth was the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, with the Dutchman turning in a fastest lap of 1:37.174. The second Ferrari of Sebastien Vettel completed the top five, slotting in just behind Verstappen with a time of 1:37.230.
Vettel led the second practice session of the day with a quick lap of 1:34.120, followed by Raikkonen in second, who posted a 1:34.383. Bottas and Hamilton went 3-4 with laps of 1:34.790 and 1:34.829. Verstappen completed the top five with a 1:35.540.
The two Ferrari cars showed good single lap speed during the second session and also showed good pace during long runs on the two softest Pirelli tire compounds. Mercedes-AMG boss Toto Wolf was impressed by the showing, but Vettel is apprehensive to get confident.
“I think Mercedes will be fine; it’s a circuit that suits them, so they will be strong tomorrow,” Vettel told Formula1.com.