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Verstappen tops practice in Russia

Mat Coch

Saturday 28th September, 2019 - 12:39am

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Max Versatppen topped Practice 2 in Russia

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ended the opening day’s running fastest at the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

The Dutchman headed the second practice session from Charles Leclerc, the pair reversing the order from the day’s opening session.

Lewis Hamilton was only fourth fastest, trailing his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as he’d done earlier in the day.

The second session was largely divided in half, with teams splitting programs between medium and soft compound tyres.

Early running saw the bulk of the field fit the slower medium compound rubber as they assessed race pace, switching to the softer compound later in the session.

Verstappen had been just fourth fastest in the early running, the pace set by Leclerc in the opening exchanges before the qualifying simulations began, which is when the Dutchman emerged fastest.

Fifth fastest at session’s end was Sebastian Vettel, followed by Pierre Gasly, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll, and Alex Albon rounded out the top 10.

Daniel Ricciardo ended the session 14th fastest, down from eighth in the opening session.

Hamilton and Albon nearly came together a high speed in the Turn 3 sweeper late on, the Mercedes driver on a hot lap having to dive to the inside of the Red Bull.

Albon was touring around on a slow down lap, unaware of the approaching Mercedes, with the moment limited to nothing more serious than a near miss.

Ricciardo had not been so lucky in Practice 1, the Australian spinning his Renault in the morning session and damaging the rear wing on his car.

There were rear wing problems for Mercedes too in Practice 1, with Bottas’ DRS not closing under braking at Turn 2 before the top plane became partially detached.

He was able to return to the pits without incident with the wings on both his and Hamilton’s car assessed prior to Practice 2.

Leclerc had topped the opening session narrowly from Versatppen, with Vettel some half a second further back.

Hamilton could do no better than fifth, two tenths slower than Bottas, with Albon rounding out the runners from the top three teams.

Best of the rest was Hulkenberg from Ricciardo, while Perez and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top 10.

Practice continues on Saturday ahead of qualifying at 2200 AEST.

Results: Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, Practice 1

Pos Num Driver Team Time Diff
1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:34.462
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1:34.544 +0.082s
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.005 +0.543s
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:35.198 +0.736s
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:35.411 +0.949s
6 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Honda 1:35.484 +1.022s
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:35.740 +1.278s
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:36.287 +1.825s
9 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes 1:36.321 +1.859s
10 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:36.516 +2.054s
11 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:36.523 +2.061s
12 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:36.538 +2.076s
13 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:36.596 +2.134s
14 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:36.714 +2.252s
15 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:36.770 +2.308s
16 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:36.844 +2.382s
17 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:37.328 +2.866s
18 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:38.520 +4.058s
19 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda 1:38.550 +4.088s
20 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:38.670 +4.208s

Result: Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, Practice 2

Pos Num Driver Team Time Diff
1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1:33.162
2 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:33.497 +0.335s
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:33.808 +0.646s
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.960 +0.798s
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:34.201 +1.039s
6 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:34.971 +1.809s
7 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes 1:34.998 +1.836s
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:35.026 +1.864s
9 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:35.176 +2.014s
10 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Honda 1:35.216 +2.054s
11 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:35.223 +2.061s
12 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda 1:35.337 +2.175s
13 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:35.351 +2.189s
14 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:35.370 +2.208s
15 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:35.374 +2.212s
16 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:35.593 +2.431s
17 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:35.635 +2.473s
18 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:36.004 +2.842s
19 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:36.785 +3.623s
20 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:37.838 +4.676s

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