F1: Sebastian Vettel Leads Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) 1-2 in Sochi Practice
- Sebastian Vettel fastest in Friday practice
- Kimi Raikkonen led time sheets in morning for Ferrari
- Lewis Hamilton just 4th quickest for MercedesAMG
F1 frontrunner Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari 1-2 in Russian Grand Prix practice Friday with The Scuderia appearing to have a clear edge over champions MercedesAMG.
Mr. Vettel, 4X a world champion, enjoyed the afternoon sunshine with a best lap of 1 min 34.120 secs — 0.263 quicker than team mate Kimi Raikkonen and 0.709 clear of MercedesAMG’s Lewis Hamilton.
Mr. Raikkonen had been fastest in the morning.
Valtteri Bottas, a close 2nd in opening practice, was 3rd in the afternoon for MercedesAMG and 0.670 off Mr. Vettel’s pace, while team mate Lewis Hamilton was 4th.
Mr. Vettel leads Mr. Hamilton by 7 points after winning 2 of 3 races this season.
Sochi’s street circuit, winding around the landmark venues of the 2014 Olympic Park, has favored MercedesAMG since its debut 3 years ago with the champions leading every lap of every race there.
3X F1 champion Lewis Hamilton won in Y’s 2014 and 2015 with now-retired team mate Nico Rosberg triumphant last year on his way to the title.
Mr. Hamilton said it had been a “bit of a difficult day.”
“The Ferrari seemed very, very fast on the long runs, so we need to work out how we can improve our pace,” he said.
Messrs Raikkonen and Bottas also have good records in Sochi with the Y 2007 world champion finishing 3rd last year and his fellow Finn taking the 1st fastest lap of his F1 career in Y 2014 when he also came 3rd for Williams.
Mr. Raikkonen said Ferrari were catching up but just how much remained to be seen.
Russian reserve Sergey Sirotkin replaced Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg at Renault for the opening session but the car broke down on track before he could do a timed lap and was pushed off by marshals.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had problems in the afternoon, pulling over and complaining of a lack of power, while McLaren again struggled with rookie Stoffel Vandoorne already resigned to starting the race at the back after an engine change.
|NYSE: RACE||75.26||28 April 2017||-0.36||75.5||75.82||75.19||212,995|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.40)||Bullish (0.27)||Very Bullish (0.52)||Bullish (0.42)|
The schedule of time for viewing in the US are, as follows:
On NBC TV in the USA, live race and encore times.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app stream P 3 on Saturday at 5:00a. EDT, followed by qualifying on CNBC at 8:00a EDT (encore on NBCSN Saturday at 6:00p EDT).
F1 Countdown kicks things off Sunday morning at 7:00a EDT prior to live race action from Sochi at 7:30a EDT, followed by F1 Extra at 10:00a EDT. NBCSN will air an encore presentation of the race Sunday at 4:30p EDT.
Lead F1 announcer Leigh Diffey will call this weekend’s racing action, and will be joined by veteran analyst and former racecar driver David Hobbs, and analyst and former race mechanic for the Benetton F1 team Steve Matchett. F1 insider Will Buxton will serve as the team’s on-site reporter from Sochi Autodrom in Russia.
Tune in, enjoy the racing.
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