Sebastian Vettel 2nd fastest, but stopped by an electrical problem. Kimi Raikkonen does a race simulation.
After the morning was spent focusing on an evaluation of new aero parts, in the afternoon in Sochi the team also looked at race pace. The track surface is evolving gradually and Sebastian Vettel set the second fastest time, running Supersoft tyres to post a 1.38.235.
The German only managed ten laps, stopping on track with an electrical problem during a qualifying simulation run. In the other SF16-H, Kimi Raikkonen completed 35 laps on his way to fourth fastest in 1.38.793. Topping the time sheet was Lewis Hamilton (1.37.583) in the Mercedes. Splitting Vettel and Raikkonen was Nico Rosberg who produced a 1.38.450, running Soft tyres on the other Mercedes.
Sebastian Vettel – “Looks like we had an electric problem, but I am sure we can fix it. Still, it is a shame, because now we are lacking some laps, especially in the long runs on race trims, which would have allowed us to see how competitive we are. But Kimi did the homework for the team, so it is not too bad. Also, here in Russia we know roughly what to expect. I think we can still learn a lot from what other people did. In Qualifying trim we still have some stuff to improve. I think the car was getting better though. The track was quite dirty in the morning and then during the day it came more towards us. I felt happier as the day continued, it’s true that for the race we are lacking a bit of information, but we will see tomorrow morning, when we have another practice session.”
Kimi Raikkonen – “It was not an ideal day, one of those days you struggle to make the tyres work and get the car where you want. I wasn’t doing any proper lap, but today it’s only practice, I’m sure we can improve for tomorrow. Overall I think we just have to work on the set up to make it as we want and then it should be ok. We have a new engine and new parts on the car, so far it has been working well. We wouldn’t use any new thing if we did not expect it to be good.”