F1 Russian GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP2, Giovinazzi crashes

Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton in another Mercedes 1-2 in second practice for Formula 1’s 2021 Russian Grand Prix, which was disrupted after Antonio Giovinazzi crashed his Alfa Romeo heavily.

F1 Russian GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP2, Giovinazzi crashes

Max Verstappen, running a new Honda power unit, which means he will start the Sochi race from the back of the grid, ended up down in sixth behind Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon.

As discussions between F1, the FIA and the teams continued over the impact of the expected heavy rain on Saturday, most of the pack hit the track immediately as the one-hour session began to make the most of what was likely to be the final dry running before Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only exception as the Australian missed the opening third of the session as McLaren worked to change his car’s engine to a previously used unit after detecting a problem with the engine he had been running in FP1 over the lunch break.

Kimi Raikkonen posted the first time of the session – 1m37.019s on the medium tyres – before he was soon deposed by Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz Jr, who were also running the yellow-walled rubber.

Charles Leclerc then used the soft tyres to go quickest as the first five minutes ended, the Ferrari driver beating his team-mate with a 1m35.508s.

Valtteri Bottas, also running the mediums, then moved ahead on a 1m35.298s, before Leclerc edged ahead again with a 1m34.925s as his run on the softs continued.

At the 15-minute mark, with most of the pack back in the pits, Fernando Alonso used the softs to go quickest on a 1m34.762s.

After 20 minutes had passed, Verstappen and the two Mercedes cars started their qualifying simulation efforts, with Bottas leading the trio around.

His 1m33.593s put him back into first place, as Verstappen trailed behind 1.028s off the Finn’s pace.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Hamilton, who had knocked over Mercedes’ front jack operator when he returned to the pits after his early running, the W11 overshooting its marks as it had been left with its ‘magic’ brake-bias-altering system still activated by the world champion when he braked entering the pitbox, was the last of the trio to go for a soft-tyre flying effort.

He was ahead of Bottas by a tenth in sector one, where he sit the session’s fastest time, but lost time to his team-mate over the remaining two-thirds of the lap – Bottas and Alonso ended FP2 with the fastest times in the second and third sectors respectively – and ended up 0.044s behind.

Just after this, Leclerc half-spun his SF21 out of the high-speed Turn 8 after putting his right-side wheels onto the astroturf strip behind the kerbs at the exit of the corner, but he was able to gather things up and continue without issue – Sergio Perez dodging around the Ferrari as he arrived on the scene a moment later in his Red Bull.

The session was well into the traditional FP2 long-run data-gathering exercises in the second half when proceedings were halted by Giovinazzi’s crash.

The Italian had a very similar slip to Leclerc at the same corner, but he spun off backwards at high-speed and crashed into the barriers behind the Turn 8 runoff, which destroyed the rear-end of his car.

Giovinazzi began to drive away from the incident but was ordered to stop by Alfa as he was “losing parts” and, with the barriers he had hit also needing to be rearranged, the session was therefore stopped.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41 crashes during practice

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41 crashes during practice

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

It resumed after a 10-minute delay and the long-run efforts resumed, during which Verstappen complained about the top-speed of his FP2 set-up and Hamilton at one stage slid along the raised ‘sausage’ kerb exiting the Turn 10 right that leads onto the meandering back ‘straight’ after carrying too much speed into the right-hander.

Gasly had forged ahead of Norris as the qualifying simulation efforts concluded, ending up 0.252s behind Bottas’s best time.

But the AlphaTauri driver’s session ended dramatically when his front wing broke off after he had bounced hard over the sausage kerb at the second apex of Turn 2 while following Ricciardo in the closing minutes and the Frenchman had to tour slowly back to the pits.

With Ocon getting ahead of Verstappen to take fifth with his best time on the softs, Sainz ended up seventh, while Alonso was shuffled back to eighth.

Sebastian Vettel was ninth and Leclerc rounded out the top 10, ahead of Perez and Raikkonen, who at one point during the red flag period reported he was still feeling discomfort from getting something in his eye during FP1.

Ricciardo recorded the least amount of laps of any driver as result of his late start to FP2, the Monza winner ending up down in 17th ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and the Haas pair.

F1 Russian GP free practice 2 results

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 1'33.593  
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1'33.637 0.044
3 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1'33.845 0.252
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1'34.154 0.561
5 France Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1'34.402 0.809
6 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1'34.621 1.028
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Ferrari 1'34.678 1.085
8 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 1'34.762 1.169
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes 1'34.837 1.244
10 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 1'34.925 1.332
11 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Honda 1'34.938 1.345
12 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'35.052 1.459
13 United Kingdom George Russell Williams Mercedes 1'35.094 1.501
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'35.178 1.585
15 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1'35.334 1.741
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1'35.411 1.818
17 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 1'35.630 2.037
18 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 1'35.954 2.361
19 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari 1'36.099 2.506
20 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 1'36.230 2.637
shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen to start F1 Russian GP from back with new power unit

Previous article

Verstappen to start F1 Russian GP from back with new power unit

Next article

Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Sochi F1

Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Sochi F1
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021