Sochi is Mercedes country – the Silver Arrows having won every single race at the track since it joined the F1 calendar in 2014. And the team’s two drivers laid down a marker that they are determined to continue that trend this weekend when they topped both Friday practice sessions.
And it was Sochi specialist Valtteri Bottas who was the man in form as the weekend got under way, the Finn quickest in both first and second practice at the Black Sea circuit.
Second practice wasn’t an entirely smooth affair for Lewis Hamilton though, who overshot his pit box and knocked over his front jack man, who was thankfully unhurt.
Elsewhere there were hairy moments for Antonio Giovinazzi who had a heavy shunt at Turn 8 which brought out the red flags, and the impressive Pierre Gasly – who was third quickest in FP2 – but blotted his copy book by running over the kerbs and ripping off his front wing.
See all the key moments from the session in the video above.