F1: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in opening practice for the Russian GP

Valtteri Bottas turned a lap of 1m34.427s on soft red Pirelli tires to lead opening practice for the Russian GP at Sochi by 0.211s over his Mercedes F1 teammate Lewis Hamilton.

For reference, Bottas was fastest in FP1 last year as well with a time of 1m34.923s. Mercedes have never lost a race here since this circuit joined the calendar in 2014

Third quick was Red Bull Honda’s Verstappen (+0.227s back) who completed the least laps of anyone at just 13 – but could be avoiding putting miles on his engine, as it is still up for debate whether he will need to take a new PU this year.

Sergio Perez 9th quick, much slower than his teammate Verstappen

Charles Leclerc was 4th quick for Ferrari running a new 2022 more powerful engine, 0.690s behind Bottas. But Leclerc will start last because of the new engine, and Verstappen has a three-place grid drop earned for his part in the crash at Monza last time out.

Sebastian Vettel was a surprise 5th quick for Aston Martin, but a massive 1.354s behind Bottas.

Vettel out for a run on the medium tires

The only incident was Lando Norris who did a half spin in the McLaren on his way back to the pits after the session was over.

Lando Norris

For reference, Nikita Mazepin was again faster than Mich Schumacher in the out-to-lunch American Haas cars

Practice 1 Results

1 Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes AMG 1m34.427s +0.000s
2 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG 1m34.638s +0.211s
3 Max Verstappen NED Red Bull Racing 1m34.654s +0.227s
4 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 1m35.117s +0.690s
5 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Cognizant 1m35.781s +1.354s
6 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 1m35.794s +1.367s
7 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 1m35.811s +1.384s
8 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m35.959s +1.532s
9 Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull Racing 1m36.188s +1.761s
10 Fernando Alonso CHI Alpine F1 Team 1m36.225s +1.798s
11 Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine F1 Team 1m36.236s +1.809s
12 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Cognizant 1m36.522s +2.095s
13 Antonio Giovinazzi GBR Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen 1m36.795s +2.368s
14 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m36.877s +2.450s
15 Kimi Raikkonen FIN Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen 1m36.952s +2.525s
16 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 1m37.794s +3.367s
17 George Russell ISR Williams Racing 1n38.013s +3.586s
18 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1m38.155s +3.728s
19 Nikita Mazepin RUS Uralkali Haas F1 Team 1m38.586s +4.159s
20 Mick Schumacher GER Uralkali Haas F1 Team 1m38.977s +4.550s


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