Max third in Sochi practice opener
Published on 25 September 2020 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen clocked the third fastest time of the Russian Grand Prix’s opening practice session. Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was quickest around the Sochi circuit, followed by teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Thirty minutes in, Max sets the fastest lap thus far, soon followed by Bottas claiming top spot. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz loses control of his McLaren at high speed and crashes into the tyre barriers. Despite a broken rear wing, he is able to drive back to the pits.
Just after the halfway mark, Max heads out on the soft Pirelli compound. Sadly, he is unable to set a time on the fresh tyres; a red flag caused by Nicolas Latifi hinders Max’ attempt. The Canadian loses control of his Williams in turn ten and hits the barriers with the rear of his car.
The session is resumed with little under half an hour on the clock. Max is one of the first drivers back on track. He does so on the soft tyres he used on his run prior to Latifi’s crash. A good lap with two green and one purple sector, propels the Dutchman in to second behind Bottas.
In the closing minutes, Lewis Hamilton splits Bottas and Max/ The latter appears to retaliate with two purple sectors but is forced to abandon his flying lap due to traffic, meaning Max ends the first Friday session in third, behind Mercedes.
|3||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:35.577||+0.654s||22|
|4||Sergio Perez||PER||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:35.796||+0.873s||23|
|5||Lance Stroll||STR||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:35.965||+1.042s||20|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||KVY||AlphaTauri Honda||1:36.230||+1.307s||21|
|8||Alexander Albon||ALB||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:36.254||+1.331s||24|
|10||Pierre Gasly||GAS||AlphaTauri Honda||1:36.706||+1.783s||25|
|12||Carlos Sainz||SAI||McLaren Renault||1:36.970||+2.047s||8|
|13||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Renault||1:37.110||+2.187s||28|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:37.201||+2.278s||17|
|15||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:37.230||+2.307s||23|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:37.430||+2.507s||22|
|17||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:37.595||+2.672s||23|
|18||Romain Grosjean||GRO||Haas Ferrari||1:37.649||+2.726s||24|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||LAT||Williams Mercedes||1:37.784||+2.861s||11|