It was a waste of a Friday for all teams at the Sochi Autodrom, as both sessions were disrupted in very different ways. Free Practice 1 was delayed by 40 minutes due to a diesel spill on the track, while the second was interrupted by rain. The teams could not manage any set-up or testing work in the circumstances. The latter stages of the first session saw all cars set a time on the soft tyres, but the second session saw only eight drivers set a time. It was Nico Hulkenberg who was fastest in FP1, while Felipe Massa took the plaudits in the second session.
In bizarre circumstances, a service truck that was cleaning the track ended up coating a large part of it with diesel, making it impossible for the drivers to go out before it was cleaned. Cleaning it meant getting it damp, and not only did the session start 40 minutes late but it also saw drivers going out on intermediate and wet tyres until almost the end of the session.
It was only in the final 20 minutes that the drivers set their times. The second session, on the other hand, was interrupted by rain and this saw most drivers remain in the garage for long periods with Fernando Alonso being the first driver to set a timed lap in both sessions, while making maximum use of track time to test his new upgraded McLaren-Honda engine. He completed 12 laps, which was the most by any driver in both the sessions. The entirety of FP2 was on wet weather tyres for all the drivers, all but six cars went on track with only eight cars setting a time. Neither of the Mercedes-powered cars set a time despite being on track, while Kimi Raikkonen failed to leave the garage in the 90 minutes.
There is no rain predicted for FP3, qualifying and the race on Saturday and Sunday and this meant the drivers were dubious about going out and setting a time during FP2.
Saturday will be a crucial day for all the teams, FP3, which is normally used by teams to fine tune their cars ahead of qualifying, will now be mainly used to find the best set up for the race, while evaluating the tyres. It won't be until the latter stages that the teams start their qualifying simulation.
If FP1 is any indication of the pecking order (it normally never is) the Mercedes cars look strong, while the Ferraris will be much closer than they were in Suzuka, due to the tight and twisty nature of the track.
Where to watch live
The third free practice session begins at 10am BST on Saturday and the qualifying session at 1pm BST. Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD will provide live coverage of both events in the UK.
Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.