Is the tide turning in Russia? Entering this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, Mercedes drivers have won all three poles, won all three races and even led every lap of all three events. But, after three races to start the Formula One season, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has won two of the three events. Also, they’re right on the tail of Mercedes for laps led in 2017 too.
After practice in Sochi on Friday, it appears that the two Ferrari cars may be the ones to beat now this weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen led the way in session No. 1, with a lap of 1;36.074-seconds in his No. 7 Ferrari. He’s had a top five in all three races this year, but has yet to get a win.
Last races pole winner Valtteri Bottas was second quickest in the opening session with a lap of 1:36.119-seconds in his No. 77 Mercedes, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton was right behind him with a time of 1:36.681-seconds.
Young Max Verstappen was fourth and the first over the 1:37-second barrier at 1:37.174-seconds while Vettel rounded out the top five with a lap of 1:37.230-seconds in his No. 5 Ferrari.
Daniel Ricciardo was sixth to give us two Ferrari’s, two Mercedes and two Red Bull’s in the top six on the speed chart.
In the second session, it was more Ferrari dominance. This time, Vettel was on top with turning the quickest lap of the weekend at 1:34.120-seconds around the Sochi street circuit. Raikkonen, was second with a lap of 1:34.383-seconds to give Ferrari the top two speeds of the second practice.
Both Mercedes drivers were next in line with being third and fourth respectively. Bottas (1:34.790-seconds) led Hamilton (1:34.829-seconds) again, as both look to close the gap with their Ferrari counterparts.
The Red Bull cars were again in the top six with Verstappen (1:35.540-seconds) being fifth and Ricciardo (1:35.910-seconds) was sixth.