Bottas tops action packed Russian GP practice
By Mat Coch
Saturday 26th September, 2020 - 1:30am
Valtteri Bottas put his Mercedes fastest in the opening two practice sessions for this weekend’s Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
Both 90-minute sessions saw a spate if incidents, the first including a nine minute red flag period after Nicholas Latifi found the wall at Turn 10.
The Canadian lost the rear of his Williams before making contact with the wall, burying the car in the barriers.
He was not the first driver to find the wall, with a similar fate having befallen Carlos Sainz around the 30 minute marker of the session.
Dropping his wheels over the back of the kerb at Turn 7, the Spaniard spun and tagged the barriers with the rear of his McLaren before limping the car home.
The opening session also witnessed a Virtual Safety Car after Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri) had a moment at Turn 15.
Different approaches as a result of the stoppages made for a somewhat misleading timesheet, with Bottas fastest from Daniel Ricciardo in second.
Max Verstappen was third best while Lewis Hamilton had his qualifying simulation interrupted to end up just 19th.
Sergio Perez was the first of the two Racing Points in fourth, one place better than Lance Stroll in the sister car.
It was then Esteban Ocon (Renault), Kvyat, Alexander Albon (Red Bull), and Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari).
Ricciardo was again towards the pointy end in Practice 2, recording the third fastest time behind Bottas and Hamilton.
The session was less dramatic that the opening 90 minutes earlier in the day but still generated a number of incidents.
That included a moment for Hamilton at Turn 13 when he locked up and narrowly missed a meeting with the barrier.
To that point in the lap the Briton had been up by more than half a second on his previous best.
Bottas also had a moment, running wide at the final corner and climbing the grass bank on its exit.
The Finn still ended the day fastest, his 1:33.519 more than a quarter of a second clear of Hamilton.
A spin for Verstappen left the Red Bull driver in seventh while Sainz returned from his Practice 1 crash to record the fourth best time.
He was one spot up from McLaren team-mate Lando Norris, with Perez in sixth.
Behind Verstappen, the top 10 was completed by Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Ocon, and Vettel.
Final practice is set to begin at 19:00 AEST this evening ahead of qualifying from 22:00.
Result: Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, Practice 2
|4||55||Carlos Sainz||Mclaren Renault||1:34.723||+1.204s|
|5||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Renault||1:34.847||+1.328s|
|6||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:34.890||+1.371s|
|7||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:35.048||+1.529s|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||1:35.210||+1.691s|
|12||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:35.242||+1.723s|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||Alphatauri Honda||1:35.461||+1.942s|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:35.516||+1.997s|
|15||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:35.563||+2.044s|
|16||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:35.575||+2.056s|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:35.627||+2.108s|
|18||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:35.729||+2.210s|
|19||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:36.053||+2.534s|
|20||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:36.858||+3.339s|
Result: Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, Practice 1
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:35.577||+0.654s|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:35.796||+0.873s|
|5||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:35.965||+1.042s|
|7||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||1:36.230||+1.307s|
|8||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:36.254||+1.331s|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||1:36.706||+1.783s|
|12||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:36.970||+2.047s|
|13||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:37.110||+2.187s|
|14||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:37.201||+2.278s|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:37.230||+2.307s|
|16||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:37.430||+2.507s|
|17||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:37.595||+2.672s|
|18||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:37.649||+2.726s|
|20||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:37.784||+2.861s|