D he started the Russia weekend for the Organizers in the pants. In the morning, the race management discovered that the asphalt in the second and third sectors was largely covered by a liquid. Irony: A cleaning vehicle lost a few liters of hydraulic oil on a lap around the 5.848-kilometer circuit.
Cleaning vehicle ensures shorter training times
As a result, numerous marshals and intact cleaning vehicles had to be move out and clean the slope again and spread binding agent. The race management had no choice but to postpone the start of the first free practice by half an hour. The clock was ticked down anyway, which meant a compressed training time of 60 minutes for the teams.
When it finally started, the affected parts of the track were still damp. This led to the fact that the teams were stingy with laps, because under these conditions no usable data could be collected.
It was only in the last 20 minutes that the pilots provided real action. Even after the piste had dried, the asphalt was still very green and slippery. The result was a few slip-ups. Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen, among others, were hit by a spin.
Hülkenberg fastest in first training
Nico Hülkenberg took advantage of the hour and on his last lap grabbed the fastest lap in 1: 44.355 minutes. It was the first time in training for the long Rhinelander this season. Behind Hülkenberg, Nico Rosberg took second position. The World Cup runner-up is under more pressure than ever in Sochi. If he wants to keep his chances of winning the world title, he'll have to beat his team-mate this weekend to shorten the point gap of 48 points.
While Rosberg landed in second position, it was only enough for Hamilton to rank seven. The times are not particularly meaningful because of the track conditions. The German triple lead made it clear to Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari. The Heppenheimer was 0.631 seconds short of the Hülkenberg time.
Alonso celebrates 250th GP weekend
Sergio Perez placed the second Force India in fourth place. Daniel Ricciardo came in behind. At Red Bull, thoughts are turning this weekendprobably mainly about how to get an engine for the coming year. The same applies to Toro Rosso's sister team. Carlos Sainz finished sixth in the first practice session. Valtteri Bottas (8th), Max Verstappen (9th) and Kimi Räikkönen also made it into the top 10.
Despite the McLaren misery, Fernando Alonso has reason to celebrate in Russia. The Spaniard is competing for his 250th GP weekend. In the classification of the first practice unit it was enough for him to finish 14th. There was a small breakdown at Sauber. Marcus Ericsson died shortly before the end of the session, the engine at the end of the pit lane. After a check in the garage he was able to get back into the action.