Valtteri Bottas set the pace in opening practice for the Russian Grand Prix which was disrupted by a crash for Nicholas Latifi, while Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was only 19th.

Bottas was the only driver to dip under the 1m35s bracket to set a 1m34.923s on the Soft tyre, heading Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo by half a second.

With the Mercedes drivers conducting alternative programmes in FP1, Hamilton completed the majority of the session on the Hard tyre and looked to be focusing on long runs as he finished well adrift and 2.793s off the pace.

Hamilton holds a 55-point advantage over Bottas in the championship and heads into this weekend’s race at Sochi with his first opportunity to draw level with Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 career victories.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was a tenth further behind his former teammate Ricciardo as he finished third-quickest in the morning, ahead of the Racing Point duo led by Sergio Perez.

Esteban Ocon was sixth-fastest in the other Renault, edging out home-favourite Daniil Kvyat’s AlphaTauri by just under two-tenths.

The rest of the top 10 was made up of Alexander Albon’s Red Bull, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly in the second AlphaTauri.

Outside of the top-10 came Charles Leclerc and the McLaren pair of Carlos Sainz - who failed to reappear after an early tag with the wall following a spin - and Lando Norris.

The Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen followed in 14th and 15th, ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas, Williams driver George Russell and Romain Grosjean.

Hamilton finished 19th on a set on flat-spotted set of Hards following an early lock-up, only ahead of Latifi, who caused a red flag when he crashed his Williams during his first Soft tyre run.

The incident caused the session to be halted for a short period with 35 minutes remaining on the clock.

Latifi lost control of his FW35 at Turn 10 and spun rearwards into the barriers on the exit of the corner.

The hefty impact resulted in some significant damage to the backend of his car, forcing the Canadian to miss the rest of the session and be anchored to the bottom of the FP1 timesheets.

FULL RESULTS FROM OPENING PRACTICE FOR THE 2020 F1 RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...