Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Sochi Autodrom, 2015

Just eight drivers set times in rain-hit practice

2015 Russian Grand Prix second practice

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Persistent rain prevented any meaningful running during the second practice session at Sochi Autodrom.

Felipe Massa set the quickest time with the final lap of the session, but the very wet track meant no one was able to lap in under two minutes. The Williams pair were two of just eight drivers who took to the track.

Other teams had concluded earlier on there was no value in running. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was told to park up in the garage with 25 minutes still to run. Lotus and Manor didn’t send either of their drivers out at all.

Fernando Alonso was the busiest driver on the track following his engine change, but he was told to pit before the end of the session after McLaren detected a problem on his car.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
119Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes2’00.4586
25Sebastian VettelFerrari2’00.6590.2018
377Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes2’00.6880.2308
433Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault2’00.8060.3487
514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda2’01.0770.61912
626Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault2’01.4180.9606
755Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault2’02.8052.3477
822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda2’02.8452.3878
96Nico RosbergMercedes6
109Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari3
1144Lewis HamiltonMercedes3
1211Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes3
1327Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes3
143Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1

Second practice visual gaps

Felipe Massa – 2’00.458

+0.201 Sebastian Vettel – 2’00.659

+0.230 Valtteri Bottas – 2’00.688

+0.348 Max Verstappen – 2’00.806

+0.619 Fernando Alonso – 2’01.077

+0.960 Daniil Kvyat – 2’01.418

+2.347 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 2’02.805

+2.387 Jenson Button – 2’02.845

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Just eight drivers set times in rain-hit practice”

  1. In the final parts Alonso’s McLaren hat yet again a new problem. McLaren-Honda’s situation is so tragic.

    Other than that boring session.

  2. I know some people are saying that we could do away with one of the practice sessions and the teams would cope. They’re probably right but they’re also essentially saying that they want to see less F1 on race weekends which is a bit strange. Yes, the first practice session is usually not that busy but instead of getting rid of it maybe people should stop investing so much in it and expecting a really interesting and captivating session because it never really is.

    1. I guess the thing is, with current limitations on tyre-sets and engine-life, we would see the same amount of running and thus F1-action with one less free practice-session. However, there were times when F1 had more sessions over a weekend (2 qualifying sessions, pre-qualifying, sunday-morning warm-up), and all those saw much more action, even in the wet. Obviously that were also times of unlimited number of tyre-sets and engines, having T-cars and no parc-ferme. If we stay with 3 practice sessions, those practice sessions should be made usable.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      9th October 2015, 14:30

      I’m a big fan of F1, and always go to the sessions when in town.
      But I could do with cutting out FP1 and FP2.
      – give the main drivers just one FP on Saturday. The FP should be 1.5hrs and – as only session – will be a a lot busier.
      This, together with quali, will for an exciting track day.
      – leave maybe the Friday for test/young drivers to do some system check, development, set-up work.

      1. I personally want to see as much running with the race drivers as possible.

        When I attend an F1 weekend I don’t want to sit in the stands all day just to see the race drivers for an hour. I want to see my favorite drivers out on track as much as possible, Cutting practice time for race drivers would offer fans far less value & less opportunity to see the drivers they went to the track to watch be out on track!

      2. Maybe the drivers like to practice…..not everything in life is simply for the benefit of onlookers,huh?

  3. Paul Tomlinson
    9th October 2015, 13:51

    It’s not surprising teams no longer see the value of going out in practice given the engine and component regulations. Whilst we still would have seen limited running without these, i’m pretty sure we’d have seen more than 8 drivers go out. I remember the days drivers were relishing getting into the cars whatever the conditions; nowadays they’re more worried about the parts…

  4. Good luck with the Friday Practice Analysis piece, Keith!

    1. @craig-o It’s going to be short…

  5. well Hulkenberg should be set up perfectly for the weekend lol.

  6. I have an idea for wet sessions like today…
    Pirelli are forever complaining about not being able to test and particularly about how impossible it is to develop rain tires because teams don’t run in the wet. So what if a new rule was brought in where in, if a FRIDAY session is declared a wet session then it automatically becomes a Pirelli test session where all teams are required to run at least 10 laps.
    This way Pirelli gets their data and fans get to see the cars out on track.

    1. @eoin16 – Ah but see, that seems like a fairly sensible suggestion, so naturally it’ll never happen.

    2. Agreed. I’m afraid this makes far too much sense.

    3. The teams would never agree to that because there would be no point in risking the car when they would be gaining no valuable data for the rest of the weekend if they know its going to be dry.

      As we heard with the Sauber radio message today, When your having to drive so slowly that you can’t get temperature in the tyres, You then have a lot less grip & if you believe the rest of the weekend is going to be dry all thats doing is unnecessarily risking the car & driver.

  7. Now here’s hoping we get a wet race on Sunday; that will certainly spice up the Russian GP! :D

  8. Stunning performance by Williams – P1 and P3 in the rain! Their updates must be absolutely brilliant.

    1. @nase Or their fuel load extraordinarily low.

      1. @davidnotcoulthard Either that, or the fact that only 8 cars set a time, and no-one seriously attempted to fight for P1.
        In fact, I was kidding. I thought that was obvious.

        1. @nase Ah I see…..jokes can get a tad hard to spot in written form……

          1. @davidnotcoulthard
            Yeah, don’t worry about it. I can’t confidently rule out that I wouldn’t have misunderstood such a joke myself.

  9. Funny to see “Felipe baby (Stay calm)” in P1 with rain.

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