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Russian Grand Prix FP2: Felipe Massa fastest as rain limits running in Sochi

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Russian Grand Prix FP2: Felipe Massa fastest as rain limits running in Sochi
Oct 9, 2015, 1:57 PM

The job sheet for Saturday morning's Free Practice Three is again overflowing, as poor conditions meant a wasted Friday for F1 teams in Sochi.

The job sheet for Saturday morning's Free Practice Three is again overflowing, as poor conditions meant a wasted Friday for F1 teams in Sochi. It was a similar story in Suzuka.

The only problem this weekend is that Pirelli has brought softer tyre compounds to this race than previously and how they will perform on longer runs in the race is an unknown. Teams will have to work that out as best they can in FP3 as well as set the cars up for qualifying on the supersoft tyres. It should make for a frantic Saturday.

Felipe Massa top this afternoon's wet second practice session for the Russian Grand Prix as few Formula 1 drivers opted to venture out on track and set a lap time.

Massa, who was spotted on camera apparently asleep while he waited to go out in the early part of the session, took the top spot with his final lap with a 2m00.458s.

Williams covered more mileage than many, as the team looked to validate some solutions to its ing standing problem of performance in the wet. Engineering chief Rob Smedley said afterwards that the team appears to have made progress on this front, but it will have to wait to have that confirmed as no further rain is forecast for this weekend in Sochi.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, who had briefly looked like he would top the session, ended up in second place. The German had been the first driver to take to the Sochi track after 20 minutes of the session had passed. Vettel reported “a big difference in standing water. Turn 13-2 there is lots, 2-13 is just damp.”

The standing water around the final third of the lap meant that all of the running that did take place was done on the full wet Pirelli tyres.

Valtteri Bottas ended the session in third place in the second Williams and as the Finnish driver returned to the pits after completing his final lap he was informed the car had a puncture and should proceed with caution.

Max Verstappen, who enjoyed a long spell at the top of the timesheets, was fourth for Toro Rosso. The Dutch teenager asked if could go for a final run at the end of the session, but was told to “save the tyres” by his team.

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso was fifth for McLaren and the Spaniard, who is making his 250th F1 entry this weekend, was the only driver to have set a timed lap for the majority of the session. When Alonso returned to circuit later on, McLaren informed him there was “a problem” with his Honda power unit and he was forced to pit.

Daniil Kvyat ended the session in sixth place at his home track in the lead Red Bull, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Jenson Button in the second McLaren,

Nico Rosberg, Marcus Ericsson and Lewis Hamilton all ventured out for a number of installation laps but did not set a time, as did Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton

Hulkenberg, who told the team his pitlane speed limiter was “oscillating”, had earlier topped the dry first practice session, which was delayed and shortened to an hour after diesel was spilt on the track at Turns eight and nine by a support vehicle.

Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean and Felipe Nasr were not seen on track at all, and nor were Pastor Maldonado, Will Stevens or Roberto Merhi. Their decision appeared to be justified, as the wet weather is not expected to return for the remainder of the weekend.

Romain Grosjean

But Grosjean’s lack of running may be a concern for the Frenchman, as he is yet to drive a lap of the Sochi track this year because Jolyon Palmer occupied his car in FP1.

FP2 results:

Pos

1 Felipe Massa Williams 2m00.458S

2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +0.201s

3 Valtteri Bottas Williams +0.230s

4 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso +0.348s

5 Fernando Alonso McLaren +0.619s

6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull +0.960s

7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso +2.347s

8 Jenson Button McLaren +2.387s

9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes *No time set

10 Marcus Ericsson Sauber *No time set

11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes *No time set

12 Sergio Perez Force India *No time set

13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India *No time set

14 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull *No time set

15 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari *Zero laps

16 Romain Grosjean Lotus *Zero laps

17 Felipe Nasr Sauber *Zero laps

18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus *Zero laps

19 Will Stevens Manor *Zero laps

20 Roberto Merhi Manor *Zero laps
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Williams: Understanding the track in wet conditions on Friday Practice for the Russian GP

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams