After a weeks break Formula 1 is back, this time in Russia at Sochi Autodrom on the coast of the Black Sea.
Valtteri Bottas topped the time sheets in FP1 after his last place start to podium finish at Monza. The Finn is known to like this track and has won twice here in 2017 and at last years Russian GP.
Mercedes finished 1-2 with Hamilton coming home in second with Verstappen not too far behind in 3rd.
Ferrari also showed some good pace with Charles Leclerc coming home fourth fastest but unfortunately will need to start from the last row of the grid for this GP due to a new power unit being fitted to his car.
The session went down without issues until the chequered flag had already been shown. A bizarre incident involving McLaren’s Lando Norris occurred as he entered the pits after completing his laps.
The British driver spun on the entry to the pitlane, minimally damaging his front wing. It seemed as though his car suddenly went into neutral as he continued towards pit lane with Norris explaining over the radio: “I’ve crashed … I have no idea what happened there.”
He was able to get the car going again and rejoin his team in the pits to conduct further analysis.
This weekend could see heavy rain fall which would certainly cause some mayhem. Thursday saw a small river forming adjacent to the pits as the Formula 3 teams were setting up their garages.
At least for Friday’s practice the Formula 1 teams were able to collect their data under dry conditions. But, only time will tell if that will be applicable for Saturdays qualifying as well as the race on Sunday.
Here are how the drivers classified:
Featured image source: twitter.com/mercedesAMGF1