F1 Russian GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP1 and FP2

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By: Jake Boxall-Legge, James Newbold

Summary

Summary
  • 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.

Leaderboard
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
08:17 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.
08:15 In case you missed any of the action from that session, here's the full report: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-russian-gp-fp2-bottas-leads-mercedes-1-2-giovinazzi-crash/6673753/
08:13 Weather, of course, remains a big unknown factor. It's expected to rain tomorrow, but Sunday is something of a question mark still.
08:13 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.
08:11
 
08:09 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...
08:09
 
08:08 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.
08:06 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.
08:04 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.
08:03 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.
08:01 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.
08:00 Oh dear, Gasly has lost his front wing. That will take the shine off a brilliant session somewhat.
07:59 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.
07:57 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.
07:57 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.
07:56 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.
07:55 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!
07:53 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.
07:52 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.
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