Russian GP FP3 stopped early due to Carlos Sainz Jr crash

Final practice ahead of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix was brought to a halt 15 minutes early following a heavy accident involving Carlos Sainz Jr

Russian GP FP3 stopped early due to Carlos Sainz Jr crash

With 22 minutes of the hour-long session remaining Sainz ploughed his Toro Rosso deep into a barrier at Turn 13, the culmination of one of the fastest parts of the Sochi Autodrom circuit.

The Spaniard's car lost control under braking for Turn 13, slamming into the outside concrete wall before heading straight on into the Tecpro barrier at the end of the run-off area.

UPDATE: Sainz airlifted to hospital after crash

Due to a loss of power on the car there was also no communication available from pit to driver, preventing the team from getting an update on Sainz's condition.

The FIA took the decision not to restart the session as marshals and medics continued to attend to Sainz, while there were initially no replays of the shunt.

Sainz was eventually removed from his car, placed on a stretcher and into an awaiting ambulance, the 21-year-old appearing to give a wave of his hand and a thumbs-up in the process.

Following what were two heavily disrupted Friday sessions, the initial 45 minutes of FP3 prior to the accident were hectic.

It meant that from the off there was a mix of the tyre compounds used, with some drivers taking the super-soft tyres immediately.

Temperatures, however, were hardly ideal, with the track at just 22 degrees and air flitting between 15 and 16 degrees, ensuring for all concerned that getting heat into the tyres would pose a problem.

Valtteri Bottas initially led the way on softs with a lap of 1m42.829s, the Finn then consistently improving on his run before lowering the benchmark to 1:40.617s.

Twenty minutes into the session Williams team-mate Felipe Massa was Bottas's closest rival, 0.355s off the pace, with the rest of the field clearly running higher fuel loads as Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third, but just over two seconds back.

Switching to the supersofts, Bottas shaved just over three tenths of a second off his best time with a lap of 1m40.275s, before Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes became the first to dip below 100 seconds with a 1m38.941s on super-softs.

Bottas responded by posting faster times in the first two sectors, only to blot his copybook with an error in the final sector and finish three tenths of a second off the pace.

Rosberg then went quicker again with a lap of 1m38.561s before a lock up from Lewis Hamilton in sector one on his maiden super-soft run compromised his lap, with the reigning champion finishing 0.802s down on his team-mate.

Outside of the top three of Rosberg, Bottas and Hamilton, Force India's Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished fourth and sixth quickest, sandwiching Massa.

McLaren duo Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were seventh and ninth, with Pastor Maldonado eighth, and Felipe Nasr 10th, 2.668s back.

Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel finished 12th and 16th, the latter just over four seconds down.

FP3 TIMES

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.561s 15
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 0.726s 17
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.802s 13
4 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1.055s 14
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1.314s 14
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1.356s 14
7 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 2.020s 12
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 2.206s 13
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 2.639s 11
10 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 2.668s 14
11 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 2.797s 15
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 3.736s 11
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 3.810s 14
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 3.889s 14
15 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 4.122s 19
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 4.125s 11
17 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 4.528s 16
18 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 4.786s 14
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 8.206s 19
20 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 8.688s 18



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Carlos Sainz Jr airlifted to hospital after Russian GP FP3 crash

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