Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
27 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
50 days
09 May
Next event in
68 days
23 May
Race in
85 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
99 days
13 Jun
Race in
107 days
27 Jun
Race in
120 days
04 Jul
Next event in
124 days
18 Jul
Race in
142 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
155 days
29 Aug
Race in
183 days
05 Sep
Race in
190 days
12 Sep
Race in
197 days
26 Sep
Race in
211 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
215 days
10 Oct
Race in
225 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
240 days
31 Oct
Race in
247 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
267 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
282 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
288 days

Russian GP: Hamilton leads Bottas by seven tenths in FP3

Lewis Hamilton beat Valtteri Bottas to the top spot in final practice for Formula 1’s 2020 Russian Grand Prix, ahead of McLaren driver Carlos Sainz and Renault’s Esteban Ocon.

shares
comments
Russian GP: Hamilton leads Bottas by seven tenths in FP3

Max Verstappen showed pace to trouble the Mercedes drivers but did not complete his final qualifying simulation run for Red Bull. 

Daniel Ricciardo finished 10th after setting the second and third fastest times in the two Friday practice sessions as a bizarre mirror issue appeared to cost him time on his final lap. 

At the start of the one hour session, Lando Norris established the early benchmark at 1m36.423s on the medium tyres as he toured around the Sochi Autodrom solo in the opening minutes before most of the pack then emerged to set the initial qualifying simulation runs on the soft tyres. 

Bottas was the first Mercedes driver to attempt a lap, but he had to abandon his initial effort after turning in with his left-side wheels on the kerbs at Turn 7, missing the apex and going deep and then off the track beyond the fast right-hander.  

But Bottas went for another lap at the end of his abandoned tour and took the top spot with a 1m35.183s – still setting what was then the fastest third sector despite his tyres having done an extra lap. 

Hamilton also had an off-track moment on his first run – after both Mercedes drivers had had trouble staying on the low-grip asphalt on Friday – as he ran wide and got caught on the large orange kerb beyond Turn 7, with his left-front tyre appearing to hang in the air as he rubbed along the raised track limits deterrent.  

Pierre Gasly briefly took the top spot with a 1m34.930s on his first soft tyre run, but a few moments later Bottas blasted back to P1 with 1m34.289s on his next set of softs, with Hamilton then using his own second set to go second at that stage, 0.2s slower than his team-mate. 

Verstappen did not set a timed lap until halfway through the session, but when he did he split the Mercedes cars, just 0.017s adrift of the top spot. 

After a brief lull in action, Bottas took his latest set of softs and improved the P1 benchmark to 1m34.055s. 

But Hamilton seized control with his full run – despite appearing to go slightly deep at Turn 2 at the end of the main straight – as he set rapid pace in the second and third sectors to take P1 with a 1m33.29s. 

Sainz jumped to third on his final qualifying simulation run, but Verstappen was poised to improve as he set the fastest time of the session in the opening sector with eight minutes remaining. 

But the Red Bull lost time early in the second sector and he abandoned his lap, ending up shuffled down to sixth by Ocon and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez. 

Sebastian Vettel put his Ferrari seventh despite running very wide out of the final corner late on, asking his team to check his car for damage, with Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat taking eighth and ninth. 

Ricciardo had gone fractionally quicker than Ocon in the first sector, but as his final lap wore on he began reaching out of his cockpit to adjust his right-side mirror, which was twisting on its carbonfibre arm as he raced around the track. 

The Australian driver lost time as the lap wore on, with the mirror continuing to bounce around, and although he jumped up from P16 he finished 10th in the final standings.  

Several drivers had additional off-track moments – including Gasly (who finished 11th) and Romain Grosjean (P14) spinning at the slower left of Turn 15 after their cars were unsettled on a bump, which also caught out Alex Albon although he stayed pointing in the right direction.  

Albon wound up 19th in the final classification after cutting across the kerbs at Turn 2 on his final flying lap, which is a track limits offence that cost him a spot in the top 10. 

Norris brought up the rear of the field after abandoning his final flying run.

Russian GP - FP3 results:

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 16 1'33.279
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 19 1'34.055 0.776
3 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 17 1'34.096 0.817
4 France Esteban Ocon
Renault 13 1'34.239 0.960
5 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 14 1'34.252 0.973
6 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 11 1'34.306 1.027
7 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 14 1'34.594 1.315
8 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point 13 1'34.732 1.453
9 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
AlphaTauri 14 1'34.768 1.489
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 12 1'34.787 1.508
11 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 12 1'34.792 1.513
12 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 14 1'34.806 1.527
13 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 16 1'34.979 1.700
14 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 14 1'35.257 1.978
15 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 14 1'35.292 2.013
16 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 14 1'35.451 2.172
17 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 15 1'35.590 2.311
18 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 15 1'35.599 2.320
19 Thailand Alex Albon
Red Bull 14 1'35.603 2.324
20 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 17 1'35.981 2.702
The upgrades Ferrari brought after hitting 'rock bottom'

Previous article

The upgrades Ferrari brought after hitting 'rock bottom'

Next article

Norris to race with new McLaren F1 nose concept

Norris to race with new McLaren F1 nose concept
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Russian GP
Sub-event FP3
Author Alex Kalinauckas
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021