Home MOTORSPORTS F1 Russian Grand Prix (F1) – Day 2

Russian Grand Prix (F1) – Day 2

Russian Grand Prix
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Mercedes had dominated Day 1 of the Russian Grand Prix. Valterri Bottas finished both free practice sessions in first place, and Lewis Hamilton finished second in Free Practice 2. The teams had one more practice session before they battled for grid position in the Qualifying session.

Free Practice 3 (FP3):

The Mercedes’ continued their domination at Sochi with Hamilton and Bottas finishing first and second respectively. Hamilton set the fastest lap time of the weekend yet, almost 8 tenths quicker than Bottas’ best. Carlos Sainz was the quickest after these two. A good sign for McLaren which competes in the best of the rest category (and now even with the Ferrari team). Frenchman Esteban Ocon continued Renault’s good performance in the free practice sessions finishing fourth. Sergio Perez ended the session fifth quickest. The teams in the best of the rest category would be pleased with the FP3 results, as the third, fourth and fifth place finishers were all within 2 tenths of a second of Valterri Bottas.

The Red Bull team did not have a very impressive showing. Max Verstappen was only 6th quickest, and his teammate Alex Albon’s fastest lap time was deleted for overstepping track limits. Daniel Ricciardo, who had finished in the top three for the first two practice sessions, finished outside the top 10.

Ocon, Gasly and Grosjean all spun out in FP3. Luckily, neither of the three endured any damage to the car.


Qualifying 1 (Q1):

Q1 was a fairly dramatic affair. Lewis Hamilton’s lap time was deleted as all four tyres were off the track. Turn 2 proved to be challenging for many drivers as they overshot courtesy of the tail wind they faced for the first time during the weekend. Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi failed to get out of Q1 yet again. He has not been able to make his way to Q2 in all of the 2020 season. His teammate Kimi Raikkonen had to abort his run due to a mistake and did not have enough time to improve his lap timing.

Also read: Russian Grand Prix (F1) – Day 1

Qualifying 2 (Q2):

The drivers reported slight rain as they headed out into Q2. Both the Mercedes drivers made mistakes on Turn 18. Hamilton once again had his lap time deleted for the same. There was some intense drama with a little over 2 minutes to go in the session, when Sebastian Vettel spun out and crashed his car. His car stood still on the track, and fellow Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was perilously close to running into it. The session was stopped immediately.

This left Hamilton with just one chance to complete his out lap and set a qualifying time. He had to do so with a lot a traffic on the track as the cars lined up in the pit lane to use every second remaining in the session. Hamilton completed his out lap with just 1.25 seconds to spare. His lap time ensured that he made it to the final qualifying session. A narrow escape for the World Champion. Charles Leclerc was audibly (as heard on the team radio) frustrated by getting knocked out in Q2.

Qualifying 3 (Q3):

Hamilton did not flinch in Q3. He went quickest early on in the session setting 1:31.391 seconds lap time. He improved that lap time to set a track record at 1:31.304 seconds. Verstappen edged out Bottas as the Dutch driver finished in the 2nd spot. Bottas must be disappointed considering how good he had been over the practice sessions. Sergio Perez outqualified his teammate Lance Stroll, despite missing out on the developmental upgrades and finished in 4th place, ahead of Ricciardo by just 0.047 seconds.

The final day of the Russian Grand Prix seems to have Mercedes written all over it. Verstappen could throw a spanner in the works as he starts in second place, and F1 is as unpredictable as ever. All said and done, it will be a cracking race either way.

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