Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Sochi F1

Valtteri Bottas was fastest on the opening day of Russian Grand Prix practice at Sochi on Friday, the 15th round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Bottas was fastest in both FP1 and FP2, twice beating his reigning world champion Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton around a track where he's always excelled.

Russian Grand Prix FP1 results: Bottas fastest from Hamilton

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 25 1'34.427 222.953
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 23 1'34.638 0.211 0.211 222.456
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 13 1'34.654 0.227 0.016 222.418
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 22 1'35.117 0.690 0.463 221.335
5 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 23 1'35.781 1.354 0.664 219.801
6 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 24 1'35.794 1.367 0.013 219.771
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 25 1'35.811 1.384 0.017 219.732
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 24 1'35.959 1.532 0.148 219.393
9 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 22 1'36.188 1.761 0.229 218.871
10 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 21 1'36.225 1.798 0.037 218.787
11 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 25 1'36.236 1.809 0.011 218.762
12 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 21 1'36.522 2.095 0.286 218.114
13 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 23 1'36.795 2.368 0.273 217.498
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 23 1'36.877 2.450 0.082 217.314
15 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 20 1'36.952 2.525 0.075 217.146
16 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 26 1'37.794 3.367 0.842 215.277
17 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 23 1'38.013 3.586 0.219 214.795
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 21 1'38.155 3.728 0.142 214.485
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 22 1'38.586 4.159 0.431 213.547
20 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 23 1'38.977 4.550 0.391 212.703

What happened in Free Practice 1?

Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the benchmark fastest time on soft-compound tyres at 1m35.616s just before the halfway point, quickly beaten by Bottas on 1m34.427s – which remained as the fastest time of the session.

Hamilton got within 0.211s of Bottas on his first flying lap on the softs. Verstappen went again near the end on fresh softs, lowering his time to 1m34.654s by setting the fastest middle sector, just 0.016s slower than Hamilton overall.

Charles Leclerc was best of the rest for Ferrari, 0.690s off the pace, ahead of Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Lando Norris (McLaren). Norris suffered a bizarre incident when he half spun as he returned to the pits.

Sergio Perez was ninth in the second Red Bull, with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine rounding out the top 10.

Read Also:

Russian Grand Prix FP2 results: Bottas fastest from Hamilton

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 19 1'33.593 224.939
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 22 1'33.637 0.044 0.044 224.834
3 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 22 1'33.845 0.252 0.208 224.335
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 17 1'34.154 0.561 0.309 223.599
5 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 23 1'34.402 0.809 0.248 223.012
6 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 20 1'34.621 1.028 0.219 222.496
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 22 1'34.678 1.085 0.057 222.362
8 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 21 1'34.762 1.169 0.084 222.165
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 22 1'34.837 1.244 0.075 221.989
10 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 24 1'34.925 1.332 0.088 221.783
11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 22 1'34.938 1.345 0.013 221.753
12 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 23 1'35.052 1.459 0.114 221.487
13 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 19 1'35.094 1.501 0.042 221.389
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 15 1'35.178 1.585 0.084 221.193
15 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 21 1'35.334 1.741 0.156 220.832
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 19 1'35.411 1.818 0.077 220.653
17 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 12 1'35.630 2.037 0.219 220.148
18 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 23 1'35.954 2.361 0.324 219.405
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 19 1'36.099 2.506 0.145 219.074
20 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 20 1'36.230 2.637 0.131 218.775

What happened in Free Practice 2?

In FP2, Leclerc set the initial soft-tyre pace, beating his morning time with 1m34.925s, while the frontrunners lapped on mediums from the start. Alonso topped his fastest lap with 1m34.762s after 15 minutes.

Hamilton mowed down his front jack man in a practice pitstop, apologizing and admitting that his ‘brake magic’ button – which puts almost all the brake bias to the front wheels – was engaged by mistake.

Bottas lapped in 1m33.593s, taking over P1 a second clear of Verstappen – who will start from the back of the grid on Sunday after taking a new power unit, and therefore was unlikely to be doing any low-fuel runs. Hamilton then took P2, 0.044s off his teammate, with Norris rising to third, half a second off the Mercs.

Also during the session, Verstappen complained of difficulty passing cars on the straights.

Gasly then took third, getting to within a quarter of a second of the Mercedes duo, just before a red flag for Antonio Giovinazzi, who spun his Alfa Romeo into the wall at Turn 9. Leclerc had previously suffered a spin there without hitting anything.

Gasly lost his front wing in the closing moments of the session after smashing it against the kerb at Turn 2.

Ocon ended the session fifth quickest, ahead of Verstappen, Sainz, Alonso, Vettel, Leclerc and Perez.

After a day of dry running, rain is forecast for the rest of the weekend and could disrupt Saturday's qualifying.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Gasly surprised by "fragile" F1 front wing break in FP2

Previous article

Gasly surprised by "fragile" F1 front wing break in FP2

Next article

Verstappen: Sochi F1 fightback will be harder than in 2018

Verstappen: Sochi F1 fightback will be harder than in 2018
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021