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Sochi, FP2: Bottas continues to set the pace in Russia

Hamilton 2nd, Ricciardo 3rd

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By Olivier Ferret

25 September 2020 - 15:36
Sochi, FP2: Bottas continues to set (...)

Valtteri Bottas once again went quickest at the Sochi Autodrom, with the Finn beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by almost three tenths of a second in second practice as his good start to the Russian Grand Prix weekend continued. Third place in the session went to Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Bottas topped the opening practice session in the morning and in the afternoon session he was quickly back at the sharp end of the timesheet taking P2 behind Hamilton on hard tyres in the early running as he lapped on the hard compound Pirelli tyre while his team-mate ran on mediums.

The Finn then moved to soft compound tyres and claimed top spot with a lap of 1:33.883 before Hamilton jumped ahead of him with what would ultimately be his best lap of the session, a 1:33.786.

The pair then opted for a second run on the soft tyres and this time Bottas showed better pace, though largely in the first two sectors. There he was almost seven tenths of a second quicker than championship leader Hamilton but a ragged final sector lost Bottas half a second.

Hamilton’s lap also featured a mistake and though he was 0.7s up on his own benchmark from earlier he locked up heavily at Turn 13 and had to abandon the lap.

Despite Bottas’ scruff final sector he ended the session with a best time of 1:33.519, 0.267s ahead of his teammate.

Ricciardo slotted into third place, 1.058s behind Bottas’s best, while Carlos Sainz was fourth ahead of McLaren team-mate Lando Norris.

Sergio Pérez was sixth in a Racing Point missing a suite of upgrades that featured on team-mate Lance Stroll’s car. The Canadian found the going tough on the slippery track, however, and ended the session in a lowly 17th place.

It was a tricky day too for Red Bull Racing. Max Verstappen finished in P7 but might have claimed a better position. The Dutchman went for a second qualifying run on soft tyres but lost the rear of his RB16 at the exit of Turn 14 and spun. He was able to regain control and carry on but was forced to settle for seventh ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who edged Renault’s Esteban Ocon for eighth place. Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 10 in the second Ferrari.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 1:33.519 37
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W11 1:33.786 33
03 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 1:34.577 27
04 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 1:34.723 36
05 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 1:34.847 33
06 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:34.890 35
07 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 1:35.048 30
08 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 1:35.052 35
09 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 1:35.139 28
10 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 1:35.183 35
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:35.210 35
12 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 1:35.242 31
13 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:35.461 37
14 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:35.516 33
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 1:35.563 31
16 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43 1:35.575 30
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:35.627 34
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:35.729 32
19 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:36.053 36
20 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:36.858 32

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