Bottas tops action packed Russian GP practice

Valtteri Bottas pic: Mercedes F1 Twitter

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

Pos Num Driver Team Tim Diff
1 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:33.519
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.786 +0.267s
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:34.577 +1.058s
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
8 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:35.052 +1.533s
9 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:35.139 +1.620s
10 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.183 +1.664s
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

Pos Num Driver Team Tim Diff
1 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:34.923
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:35.430 +0.507s
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
6 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:36.061 +1.138s
7 26 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda 1:36.230 +1.307s
8 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing Honda 1:36.254 +1.331s
9 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:36.323 +1.400s
10 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1:36.706 +1.783s
11 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:36.896 +1.973s
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
19 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.716 +2.793s
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:37.784 +2.861s

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