Bottas on prime, Hamilton second in Sochi apply runs | Racing Information

SOCHI: Valtteri Bottas continued his behavior of being quickest on Friday when he topped the instances for Mercedes in each opening apply classes on the Russian Grand Prix.
The Finn clocked a greatest lap in a single minute and 33.159 seconds across the Olympic Park circuit to outpace his team-mate and runaway championship chief Lewis Hamilton by two-tenths of a second within the second session.
The 2 Mercedes males had been greater than a second away from third-placed Daniel Ricciardo of Renault regardless of enduring a tough day of off-track excursions on the slippery monitor.
Bottas, who’s 55 factors adrift of the six-time champion on this yr’s title race, is aware of he has to reap the benefits of his alternative at one among his favorite circuits to maintain his problem alive – whereas Hamilton is bidding to equal Michael Schumacher’s document of 91 Grand Prix wins.
It was the sixth Friday in a row that had seen Bottas topping the instances – and at a monitor the place he claimed his maiden win in 2017 and the place Mercedes are unbeaten, having gained all six occasions for the reason that inaugural race in 2014. Hamilton has gained 4 instances and former team-mate Nico Rosberg gained in 2016 on his approach to claiming the title.
In entrance of a meagre scattering of followers to witness apply, with 30,000 attributable to attend Sunday’s race, Carlos Sainz was fourth forward of his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris and Sergio Perez of Racing Level.
The Russian race would be the first main sports activities occasion to be run in entrance of a big crowd within the Covid-19 period.
Max Verstappen was down in seventh for Crimson Bull forward of Charles Leclerc within the main Ferrari, Esteban Ocon of Renault and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel within the second Ferrari.
Bottas had earlier topped the instances in opening apply for the sixth time in a row whereas Hamilton, having broken his tyres, was solely 19th.
The second session was run in heat late summer time sunshine with an air temperature of 28 levels on the Black Sea resort metropolis as Romain Grosjean led the best way in his Haas.
Norris quickly went quickest for McLaren earlier than the Finn took over with 1:36.065 on his arduous compounds earlier than Hamilton took command – the defending champion going 1.1 seconds faster in 1:34.890 on mediums.
As the sector switched to gentle compound runs, Mercedes continued to set the tempo, Hamilton bettering to 1:33.786, one-tenth forward of Bottas, earlier than the Briton locked up closely beneath braking at Flip 13.
It was clearly not a straightforward day for anybody on the sleek and slippery floor, however Bottas prevented the same destiny and trimmed his time to 1:33.519 and go prime by two-tenths.
These difficulties continued to problem the main drivers with Verstappen spinning twice and Hamilton, once more, going off-track at Flip 13 the place he was adopted by Bottas, who locked up, however recovered.

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