F1 Russian Grand Prix: live updates - free practice

Live updates from the Russian GP's free practice sessions

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, James Newbold


  • Bottas completes Friday clean sweep at Sochi, leading Hamilton in a Mercedes 1-2 of both sessions, as the Black Arrows look to maintain their unbeaten record at Sochi.
  • AlphaTauri's Gasly takes third in FP2, despite losing front wing over kerbs at the end of the session.
  • Verstappen, who will start from the back of the grid after taking a new PU, ends FP2 only sixth fastest behind Norris and Ocon. Perez only P11 in the second Red Bull.
  • FP2 was briefly red flagged when Giovinazzi found the barriers at Turn 9, causing damage to the rear of his Alfa Romeo.
  • Ricciardo forced into an engine change from the original pool.

1. Bottas, Mercedes
2. Hamilton, Mercedes
3. Gasly, AlphaTauri
4. Norris, McLaren
5. Ocon, Alpine
6. Verstappen, Red Bull
7. Sainz, Ferrari 
8. Alonso, Alpine
9. Vettel, Aston Martin
10. Leclerc, Ferrari

Status: Stopped
That's all from us today. Make sure you keep tabs on the website for all the reaction and analysis from FP2, and we'll see you tomorrow when we'll (hopefully!) be able to get some uninterrupted running in. As ever, thanks for joining us.
In case you missed any of the action from that session, here's the full report:
Weather, of course, remains a big unknown factor. It's expected to rain tomorrow, but Sunday is something of a question mark still.
Interestingly, neither Red Bull or Mercedes elected to run the hard tyre in that session - which suggests it wasn't bothered about fine-tuning set-ups on that tyre for the race.
Those with work to do? Well, that'll be Alfa Romeo as the team assesses the damage from Giovinazzi's session-halting shunt. Also, arguably, Giovinazzi's manager as he continues to make a case for his charge to stay on next year...
Perez was only P11, which suggests Red Bull perhaps isn't quite at the races with Mercedes on pace regardless. It does look like the omens favour another Mercedes Sochi win.
Gasly is surprisingly the Black Arrows' nearest challenger, with Norris fourth ahead of Ocon and Verstappen only P6 with his new PU. The big question there is whether Red Bull, knowing Verstappen will have to start last, abandoned any work on single-lap pace to switch its focus to race set-up - Alain Prost style.
So with that, the FP2 session is over - it's another Mercedes 1-2, with circuit specialist Bottas once again on top. That said, it's only by a gnat's whisker from Hamilton.
Yikes, replays show the front wing was ripped from the car as Gasly ran a bit wide through the Turn 2 right-hander and skipped over the kerb at the left-hander. Those kerbs are [Robbie] savage.
The checkered flag is out, and Gasly's car appears relatively undamaged - aside from the conspicuous absence of its crucial aerodynamic appendage - so is making it back under its own power.
Oh dear, Gasly has lost his front wing. That will take the shine off a brilliant session somewhat.
Perez has had a fairly anonymous session so far - that is, until he makes a dog's breakfast of the first chicane and runs wide over the sausage kerb, before taking the 'drive of shame' down to the designated marker boards.
Nobody else is on course to improve in the closing minutes of the session, but any mileage logged here could be crucial if tomorrow's running is heavily disrupted by rain.
Schumacher is currently rooted to the bottom of the leaderboard, but it's not for lack of trying as he locks up heavily into Turn 13 and only just makes the corner.
Vettel is the next man to have a big moment at Turn 7, but the run-off lets him get away with it. If the wall was a smidgen closer, Sochi would have its very own Wall of Champions there.
So, any guesses what Pierre Gasly had for lunch? He's just 0.252s behind the Mercedes, the only driver within half a second. Whatever it was (unless it was a plate full of broccoli), I'll have it!
Verstappen meanwhile is complaining about his lack of top speed, as he gets stuck behind a hard-shod Williams through the long Turn 3 right-hander.
While Norris doesn't improve on his next soft tyre run, Ricciardo does - but only by half a second, which still leaves him down in P17 ahead only of Tsunoda and the Haas pair.
Hamilton too goes over the limits in pushing the envelope - much as we saw Norris do in FP1 earlier, he has a big snap of oversteer at Turn 7 and chases the car over the kerb - but avoids snagging the wall on the outside.
Norris has to abort his push lap on softs after running wide over the kerb at Turn 4. Replays show he also had a huge kick of oversteer exiting Turn 17 as he prepared to start the lap. A scruffy few minutes for the McLaren man.
"Please note, I have too much air coming in the helmet," reports Mazepin over the radio. He's currently P18, ahead of Ricciardo and Schumacher.
Vettel, Stroll, Latifi and Mazepin are currently running the hards, while the majority are on mediums - only Norris and Sainz are having another go with the softs.
And we're back underway again for the final 15 minutes of running in FP2. Both Red Bulls and Haas cars were queued at the end of the pitlane for quite a while there to be assured of clear track.
Alas, we have but one more minute to wait. Track will be green at 15:44 local time.
We've just over 17 minutes of the session remaining, but as yet no sign of it restarting. We'll inform you when we hear more from race control.
Raikkonen is complaining about something in his eye, which he says was also there in FP1. Not a brilliant day then for the Alfa crew.
Just before the stoppage, Ocon had moved his Alpine up to P5 ahead of Verstappen. A good effort there from the Hungary winner. Alonso, still with the fastest third sector, is now back to P8.
Suffice to say, that won't do Giovinazzi's hopes of keeping hold of his drive next year much good at all.
Giovinazzi had attempted to drive the car back to the pits, but was presumably asked to stop by engineers worried about the impact on the gearbox area. Marshals at the scene are now doing their best to sweep up the mess.
Replays show Giovinazzi lost it in exactly the same place as Leclerc did earlier, off the exit kerb at Turn 9, and backed the car hard into the wall - ripping open the TecPro barriers that have spilled their foam innards like a battle-scarred teddy onto the run-off area.
The session has been red-flagged, with the Alfa parked on the side of the track after a rearward impact that has disintegrated his rear wing.
Oh dear, that's an unhelpful prang for Giovinazzi.
"I've got a tear-off stuck on the left-rear suspension, can I stop in the box?" asks Verstappen. How he knows that, I can only guess, because surely he can't see it out of those feeble little mirrors?
Ricciardo has bolted on a set of softs, but is only able to advance one place up the order - he's currently P19, with a PB of 1m36.123s.
Gasly is going well in the AlphaTauri. He now moves up to third, ahead of Norris and Verstappen, on a 1m33.845s.
Interestingly, it's Alonso who has the best final sector time - which suggests he did the better job of keeping his rubber alive into the segment of fiddly 90-degree corners, but was hampered by the Alpine's lack of aero bite around the faster sweeps at the start of the lap.