- Final practice under way
- Qualifying at 13:00 BST
- Get involved #bbcf1: would you re-sign Grosjean and Kvyat?
Grosjean radio: “Check everything is ok, I suddenly lost the front end big time.”
But nothing too serious…
BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer
Sebastian Vettel arrived in Russian knowing that he
and Ferrari had to make the weekend count, and close the points gap to Lewis
Hamilton. But it has not started well. Vettel topped the first session – but
not when you took tyres used into account – and was more than 0.5secs a lap
slower than Hamilton in the second. He confirmed afterwards that it had not
gone to plan.
“We look quite far away,” he said. “Struggling a bit on one lap
but also on the long run we went through our tyres a bit harder and quicker
than the rest. But just looking at ourselves it was not a good day in terms of
feel for the car. There is more we need to get to.” Hamilton, meanwhile, was
talking about having “a good day”. Can Ferrari get themselves back in the game
in this final practice session before qualifying?
Just on Ferrari – they’ve been our main talking point this week with the ‘limping horse’ metaphor. Jack Nicholls says he can’t tell how much is Ferrari and how much is Vettel making mistakes… but either way, the pressure is on for Ferrari in today’s qualifying session, in order to get that pole position and stay ahead tomorrow.
To listen to more on that, check out the chequered flag podcast via BBC Radio 5 live.
The Ferrari boys are out, and are top of the leaderboard for now, with Raikkonen following Vettel.
Stoo G: With Daniil Kvyat heading back to Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team is in severe danger of having two older drivers than its senior team next year…
Karen Waddy: Excellent timing from Toro Rosso with the Kyvat news. I’d give him a second bite of the cherry now he’s had time to mature.
Kayleigh: Honestly wouldn’t resign Kvyat. Wouldn’t keep bringing him back, to sack him off midway through the season.
Grosjean is also a nope from me. Just a lot more talent in the pool to waste a seat on him.
The latest in the transfer market is the signing of Daniil Kvyat to go back to Toro Rosso.
Tweet us your thoughts via #bbcf1
Andrew Benson has kindly provided some good insight to Kvyat’s previous movements between Ferrari and Red Bull, which you can read here.
Copyright: Getty Images
Fernando Alonso and both Williams drivers: Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, are out. Sochi is Sirotkin’s first home race, can he impress a home crowd?
After that little voice incident for Max Verstappen (his mechanic just mocked him via the team radio for what sounded like his voice was breaking), now’s a good time to inform you it’s his 21st birthday tomorrow, still a young lad.
Gasly, is slightly older, but…
BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
We are live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra right now and you can also listen via this page by pressing the play button at the top to listen to our always excellent team of Jack Nicholls and Jolyon Palmer.
BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer
Haas announced on Friday that it was sticking with
the same driver line-up next year, and Kevin Magnussen revealed he at least
will be there in 2020 as well. “I’m looking forward to two years and maybe
more,” the Dane said. Magnussen’s approach to his career has been affected by
his experience at his first two teams, McLaren and Renault.
McLaren dropped him
after one year, after initially saying they would keep him, when politics
intervened. And back in 2016, he chose Haas over Renault because the French
team had only offered him a one-year deal, and he wanted more security. “I like
having two years because it gives you a long time to figure out what you want
to do,” he said. “You don’t have to stress about it already in the first year.
“You can get a feeling for what you want to do a year and a half ahead. You can
focus on the future without any stress. As was already well known, he confirmed
that he and Haas agreed “very, very early” to continue their relationship.
Romain Grosjean was on rockier ground for some time after his incident-strewn
start to the season but has turned things around. No word yet on how long his
new deal is.
But first we have final practice session to get through, and some more transfers to discuss…
Get ready for what looks like a relatively lively qualifying session this afternoon from 13:00 BST – which is set to be an important one since the Russian street circuit around the Olympic Park is difficult for overtaking.
It looks like a battle for pole between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, since Vettel needs to make a good start in clawing back some of those 40 points that Hamilton leads by, and Hamilton should probably want to increase that lead.
And since the Red Bulls will be starting at the back tomorrow after taking engine penalties this weekend, there aren’t any charging bulls to disrupt the Ferrari v Mercedes battle at the front…
Unless anyone else fancies having a shot at taking pole, wouldn’t that be interesting at this point in the season?