Russian GP: Bottas and Hamilton keep Mercedes on top in FP2

Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton in another Mercedes 1-2 in second practice for Formula 1's 2021 Russian Grand Prix, which was disrupted after Antonio Giovinazzi crashed his Alfa Romeo heavily.

Max Verstappen, running a new Honda power unit, which means he will start the Sochi race from the back of the grid, ended up down in sixth behind Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon.

As discussions between F1, the FIA and the teams continued over the impact of the expected heavy rain on Saturday, most of the pack hit the track immediately as the one-hour session began to make the most of what was likely to be the final dry running before Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only exception as the Australian missed the opening third of the session as McLaren worked to change his car's engine to a previously used unit after detecting a problem with the engine he had been running in FP1 over the lunch break.

Kimi Raikkonen posted the first time of the session – 1m37.019s on the medium tyres – before he was soon deposed by Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz, who were also running the yellow-walled rubber.

Charles Leclerc then used the soft tyres to go quickest as the first five minutes ended, the Ferrari driver beating his teammate with a 1m35.508s.

Valtteri Bottas, also running the mediums, then moved ahead on a 1m35.298s, before Leclerc edged ahead again with a 1m34.925s as his run on the softs continued.

At the 15-minute mark, with most of the pack back in the pits, Fernando Alonso used the softs to go quickest on a 1m34.762s.

After 20 minutes had passed, Verstappen and the two Mercedes cars started their qualifying simulation efforts, with Bottas leading the trio around.

His 1m33.593s put him back into first place, as Verstappen trailed behind 1.028s off the Finn's pace.

Hamilton, who had knocked over Mercedes' front jack operator when he returned to the pits after his early running, the W11 overshooting its marks as it had been left with its 'magic' brake-bias-altering system still activated by the world champion when he braked entering the pitbox, was the last of the trio to go for a soft-tyre flying effort.

He was ahead of Bottas by a tenth in sector one, where he sit the session's fastest time, but lost time to his teammate over the remaining two-thirds of the lap – Bottas and Alonso ended FP2 with the fastest times in the second and third sectors respectively – and ended up 0.044s behind.

Just after this, Leclerc half-spun his SF21 out of the high-speed Turn 8 after putting his right-side wheels onto the AstroTurf strip behind the kerbs at the exit of the corner, but he was able to gather things up and continue without issue – Sergio Perez dodging around the Ferrari as he arrived on the scene a moment later in his Red Bull.

The session was well into the traditional FP2 long-run data-gathering exercises in the second half when proceedings were halted by Giovinazzi's crash.

The Italian had a very similar slip to Leclerc at the same corner, but he spun off backwards at high-speed and crashed into the barriers behind the Turn 8 run-off, which destroyed the rear-end of his car.

Giovinazzi began to drive away from the incident but was ordered to stop by Alfa as he was "losing parts" and, with the barriers he had hit also needing to be rearranged, the session was therefore stopped.

It resumed after a 10-minute delay and the long-run efforts resumed, during which Verstappen complained about the top speed of his FP2 set-up and Hamilton at one stage slid along the raised 'sausage' kerb exiting the Turn 10 right that leads onto the meandering back 'straight' after carrying too much speed into the right-hander.

Gasly had forged ahead of Norris as the qualifying simulation efforts concluded, ending up 0.252s behind Bottas's best time.

But the AlphaTauri driver's session ended dramatically when his front wing broke off after he had bounced hard over the sausage kerb at the second apex of Turn 2 while following Ricciardo in the closing minutes and the Frenchman had to tour slowly back to the pits.

With Ocon getting ahead of Verstappen to take fifth with his best time on the softs, Sainz ended up seventh, while Alonso was shuffled back to eighth.

Sebastian Vettel was ninth and Leclerc rounded out the top 10, ahead of Perez and Raikkonen, who at one point during the red flag period reported he was still feeling discomfort from getting something in his eye during FP1.

Ricciardo recorded the least amount of laps of any driver as result of his late start to FP2, the Monza winner ending up down in 17th ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and the Haas pair.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 19 1'33.593
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 22 1'33.637 0.044
3 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 22 1'33.845 0.252
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 17 1'34.154 0.561
5 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 23 1'34.402 0.809
6 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 20 1'34.621 1.028
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 22 1'34.678 1.085
8 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 21 1'34.762 1.169
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 22 1'34.837 1.244
10 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 24 1'34.925 1.332
11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 22 1'34.938 1.345
12 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 23 1'35.052 1.459
13 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 19 1'35.094 1.501
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 15 1'35.178 1.585
15 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 21 1'35.334 1.741
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 19 1'35.411 1.818
17 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 12 1'35.630 2.037
18 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 23 1'35.954 2.361
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 19 1'36.099 2.506
20 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 20 1'36.230 2.637
shares
comments
Verstappen to start Russian GP from back with new F1 power unit
Previous article

Verstappen to start Russian GP from back with new F1 power unit

Next article

Hamilton: Mercedes must capitalise on Verstappen F1 penalty

Hamilton: Mercedes must capitalise on Verstappen F1 penalty
Load comments
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022