Force India is a hard one to judge. They certainly haven't made the jump we saw from McLaren yesterday... Hulkenberg's five-place penalty will mean he needs to get into Q3 today to minimise the damage.
Button's car looking like a different one that looked so good yesterday, wobbling around the circuit as the Brit puts his car sixth with its first run. Magnussen down in eighth early on.
Button did warn yesterday about the containing evolution of this Sochi track. Early days though, so let's see what's happening.
Speaking of Magnussen, he has stopped on track and the session has been red-flagged. Looks like he had some sort of puncture in the middle of that flat-out left-hander and superbly managed to recover the car without parking it in the wall.
Red flags out, with Magnussen's car stuck to one side of the track. Not an ideal start to the day for McLaren.
@eastcoastatwork: Precisely. Had there not been count back at Suzuka he would have been classed as a retirement, and therefore not been penalised. Force India will be happy for the points though, I'm sure.
Magnussen's car is being removed from the track.
@Kristiyan: The pole-sitter sits on the left-hand side of the track, so on the racing line but not the inside line for the first corner.
@Kesh: I don't know. Bottas was hampered a bit yesterday by an odd tyre blanket malfunction in FP1 but Massa said there was more to come today. Don't write them off yet.
@Ron: Those have been adjusted this morning. I can't see them being big enough to launch a car, but enough to make it very, very uncomfortable if any driver runs across that corner.
@NanuXL: I'm sure there will be some interesting opinions on this one but he definitely adjusted well yesterday, you could see him testing the limits of the track early in FP1 and slowly improving his times. Rosberg's flying lap was compromised, however, so I don't think we saw how close the Mercedes drivers are to each other.
The current benchmark is 1:40.725. Rosberg is second, a tenth behind.
The track is green again, by the way, and Ricciardo is the first man to start a new flying lap.
@Sahil: Well that's a good example of how the tyres were behaving yesterday. A lot of drivers were surprised how good the tyres were and how little degradation there was. Usually you get one, maybe two, laps on the soft tyre before the drop off.
@jdrafferty: Not if it had caused his retirement in Suzuka, no. But count back meant he finished sixth in that race, and changed a gearbox before its sixth consecutive event.
Bottas and Kobayashi both have
moments at Turn 4 but continue.
@Ron: No, he was running an old engine intended to be used for Friday only.
There's an update from Lotus on Maldonado's car.
@jdrafferty: The medium tyre runs on Friday morning were very interesting. Usually you hear drivers complaining a lot about degradation during those sessions but it didn't seem to be the case. I can't give you specific details, but 'longer than usual' would be fair.
Bottas goes fourth, but is immediately knocked down a position by Alonso.
Massa has a little slide on the approach to Turn 13.
@Ron: Well, Alonso matching Williams early on ;)
Looks like a lot of drivers are struggling for grip this morning.
Vettel has a slide coming through the penultimate corner.
Bottas now goes P1, 0.070s clear of Hamilton. But the Brit has just started a lap of his own and just posted a 35.2s in the first sector, the fastest yet.
Everyone on medium tyres, yes.