The ultrasoft tyre set a new record on its debut at the Sochi circuit, with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel setting a best time in FP2 of 1m34.120s, eclipsing the previous benchmark set by reigning world champion Nico Rosberg in Q2 last year of 1m35.337s. These times are expected to get even quicker as the weekend goes on, with the track constantly evolving. Although the surface offers more grip compared to last year, it is still very slippery with low degradation. Temperatures remained warm all day, with 27 degrees centigrade ambient and 42 degrees on track in the afternoon session.
Mario Isola: "There's a gap of around a second between each compound, which is about the target we established at the beginning of the year. Supersoft and ultrasoft are the tyres that we expect to feature in qualifying and the race here. Although the track is slightly rougher than it was last year, as a result of normal asphalt evolution, it's still very smooth and slippery, which keeps degradation low. Consequently we can expect a relatively straightforward one-stop race on Sunday, starting on ultrasoft and moving onto supersoft."