Formula 1

FP1: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening Russian GP practice session at Sochi

Valtteri Bottas led the first Friday practice session for the Russian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton and his Red Bull rival Max Verstappen under the sun at the Sochi Autodrom.

Perhaps in anticipation of his three-place grid penalty on Sunday, Verstappen began the session on soft tyres and set the benchmark time after 20 minutes. But Bottas eclipsed that when he switched from hards to softs half-way through the session, team mate Hamilton following suit to finish two-tenths off the Finn in P2. That left Verstappen in third when he improved late on, just 0.016s off Hamilton.

Russian GP F1 Fantasy tips: Should you put your chips on the Mercedes drivers for Sochi?

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who has a new power unit and a number of impending grid penalties as a result, also began the session on softs and finished fourth ahead of former team mate Sebastian Vettel in P5 in the Aston Martin.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly took sixth with a late run on softs, while Carlos Sainz took P7 in the other Ferrari, and Lando Norris – who had a bizarre moment when he hit the wall on his way back to the pits at the end of the session – finished eighth fastest for McLaren.

FORMULA 1 VTB RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX 2021

Practice 1 results

POSITION TIME
1  Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes 1:34.427
2  Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.211s
3  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.227s
4  Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.690s
5  Sebastian VETTEL Aston Martin +1.354s

Sergio Perez finished ninth for Red Bull, 1.5s behind his team mate, while Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 for Alpine. Ocon’s team mate Fernando Alonso was just 0.061s behind in P11.

In twelfth place was Lance Stroll, the Aston Martin driver two seconds off P1, and in P13 was Antonio Giovinazzi for Alfa Romeo – his team mate Kimi Raikkonen having returned after missing Zandvoort and Monza to finish 15th here in Russia.

Between the Alfa Romeos was Monza winner Daniel Ricciardo in P14, the Australian understandably elated as he arrived at Sochi on Thursday.

Click here to read the full recap

Categories: Formula 1, Practice Results

Tagged as: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s