By Daniel Wilson.
Felipe Massa earned the less-than-impressive crown of being the fastest driver in second practice ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
The Williams driver was one of only eight men to bother setting a lap time to finish ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valterri Bottas.
A damp first practice saw Force India’s Nico Hulkenburg top the time sheets earlier in the day, but both sessions will most certainly not be consigned to the history books as a soggy Sochi underwhelmed any expectation of good running.
A diesel spill delayed the start of running on Friday morning as marshals worked quickly to clean and dry the track.
The lack of track action means no driver is any closer to understanding their car ahead of qualifying or race day, and all 20 of them will have a lot of work on their hands in the one remaining hour of free practice on Saturday.
The good news is the weather is set to improve for the weekend with sunshine and warmer temperatures.
I just hope that warmer track temperatures will provide a better race than 2014. Pirelli have decided to run the soft and super-soft tyre for this weekend in the hope of forcing a two stop strategy in the race.
Last year’s inaugural Grand Prix was unquestionably boring. A first lap lock up by Nico Rosberg handed a dominant victory to teammate Lewis Hamilton, but allowed the German driver to complete 51 of the 52 laps on the same tyre – hardly a glowing race strategy.
And that issue ultimately comes down to the track, which with a new flat surface, means the tyres are extremely durable. So, while I’m sure tomorrow will be particularly interesting, my instincts are suggesting this will be another dull, dry race in which Mercedes will stroll to their second consecutive constructors title – let’s hope I’m wrong!
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