2020 Russian Grand Prix, Thursday - Steve Etherington

Valterri Bottas topped the timing sheets with Lewis Hamilton running second-last in a disrupted session after Nicholas Latifi and Carlos Sainz hit the wall. 

Mercedes lost out on long-running time though, with both Bottas and Hamilton flat-spotting on tyres they would’ve expected to use later in the weekend for data gathering.

After the session James Allison told Sky Sports F1 that they had learned nothing from the session.

Bottas completed the fewest laps of those who ran for the whole session setting his fastest time very early on with the medium tyre, but was still fastest, half a second ahead of second-placed and soft-clad Daniel Ricciardo with Max Verstappen snatching third late on from Sergio Perez.

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Latifi suffered the biggest crash of the session around 55 minutes in, as he got a swapper on and then lost control to the outside of turn ten, slamming backwards into the barrier and bringing out the red flag.

Sainz had his shunt earlier in the session, he hit the wall at turn seven after seemingly pushing too hard. He was able to return to the pits under his own steam and only caused a brief Virtual Safety Car, but the Spaniard took no further part in the session.

Racing on home turf, Daniil Kvyat also suffered a spin shortly after the Sainz yellow flags, with Romain Grosjean also pirouetting and George Russell suffering a big lock-up.

Hamilton will equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix wins if he’s first on Sunday but struggled today, he went out for his soft run as Sainz hit the wall so was unable to complete that and then ruined his hard tyres with a lock-up. The eventual long run laps he did do at the end of the session however were very fast and competitive.

On a circuit Red Bull sometimes struggle on, Verstappen’s third was a decent effort in a pretty strung out top six.

The Racing Points completed the top five with Esteban Ocon a tenth behind Stroll in sixth. Kvyat finished seventh despite his spin, but only a quarter of a tenth ahead of Alex Albon, while the other Honda-powered car of Pierre Gasly completed the top ten.

Sebastian Vettel was the lead Ferrari – a rare feat for him this season – half a second ahead of his teammate while Lando Norris was also off the pace down in thirteenth.

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Valterri Bottas (M) Mercedes 1:34.923 13
2 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +0.507 22
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda +0.654 22
4 Sergio Perez Racing Point-BWT Mercedes +0.873 23
5 Lance Stroll Racing Point-BWT Mercedes +1.042 21
6 Esteban Ocon Renault +1.138 23
7 Daniil Kvyat (M) AlphaTauri-Honda +1.307 22
8 Alex Albon Red Bull Racing-Honda +1.331 24
9 Sebastian Vettel (M) Ferrari +1.400 23
10 Pierre Gasly (M) AlphaTauri-Honda +1.783 25
11 Charles Leclerc (H) Ferrari +1.973 23
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. (M) McLaren-Renault +2.047 8
13 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault +2.187 28
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari +2.278 17
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari +2.307 23
16 Kevin Magnussen (H) Haas-Ferrari +2.507 22
17 George Russell (H) Williams-Mercedes +2.672 24
18 Romain Grosjean (M) Haas-Ferrari +2.726 24
19 Lewis Hamilton (H) Mercedes +2.793 18
20 Nicholas Latifi (?) Williams-Mercedes +2.861 11
All times on soft tyres unless indicated


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