2020 Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix, time trial

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In cloudy weather, with asphalt temperatures of 35 degrees and air temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius, this year’s tenth time trial began in Sochi at the 2020 Formula One Russian Grand Prix. Based on the results of the third free practice, Mercedes seemed to be the favorite, and McLaren and Renault drivers from the field seemed strong.

A Q1 in the beginning with Williams, George Russell drove to the field for the first time. Behind him, with a pause, was somewhat surprisingly followed by Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. The others behind the championship cars were emboldened, and the asphalt strip soon filled up.

During the first blade changes, Bottas ran a big lap, but Hamilton’s lap was taken due to an irregular widening of the track in the first turns. With this part of the runway, several people got into trouble, but the heavy traffic did not simplify the situation for the pilots either. For the second time, Hamilton managed to put together a time three tenths of a second slower than a Bottase, but he was still well ahead of the third Sergio Perez: Racing Point’s Mexico was one second slower than the Finnish racer’s best.

The two Renault tried to move on with the medium tires: Daniel Ricciardo did well, his first lap was enough for seventh place, but Esteban Ocon could only wait for the final minutes from the 16th place in the elimination with two Alfa Romeo, Romain Grosjean (Haas) and Nicholas In the company of Latifi (Williams).

With a few exceptions in his hair, almost everyone drove to the track to improve. Many also succeeded, so the two Haas, the two Alfa Romeo and Latifi did not get further. Ferrari’s advance was a hair’s breadth, with Charles Leclerc in 14th and Sebastian Vettel in 15th. Danyiil Kvja performed well, the Russian who completed his home weekend was flown to third place by AlphaTauri. Kimi Räikkönen also dropped out because he turned his car in the first corners, the Finn can start from last place on Sunday.

A Q2-I tactics for the teams in terms of tire choice: Mercedes and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen using medium tires, while everyone else was trying to get through using red sidewalled soft Pirelles. After the first measured laps, not a Mercedes driver but Ricciardo took the lead in front of Sainz, Perez and Bottas. The Finn was also slower because of the medium tires, but he also spoiled his measured lap, and Hamilton widened the last turn too much, so they took his lap. Of the two Ferrari drivers, Leclerc could feel safer in his ninth time, but Vettel’s first lap was only enough for 13th place.

Although Perez reported a few drops of rain, nothing had passed under the circumstances, several could have improved on their last attempt. However, Vettel spoiled the joy of the others by smashing the Ferrari ugly. The timer was interrupted with a red flag, Hamilton was unable to finish his lap, 2 minutes 15 seconds before the end of Q2, the British defending champion had no lap yet.

After the rubbish was cleared, at least eight lined up at the end of the pit lane, waiting for the opening, everyone wanted to start their measured lap in time. Verstappen, meanwhile, had overtaken him in the pit lane, there was something wrong with Lance Stroll’s Racing Point, he was pushed back into the garage, making him sure he was eliminated as well. Hamilton could only join behind them, which turned out very badly for him because the AlphaTaurs held up the field. The British, moreover, made a mistake again at the beginning of the course.

Hamilton was able to start the measured lap at the very last moment, Sainz and Perez already missed the last attempt. Verstappen didn’t improve on the soft, but still advanced, and Hamilton eventually slipped to Q3 in the fourth time, already on soft tires. Leclerc also dropped out with the other Ferrari, Kvjat also said goodbye, as did Stroll, Russell, and Vettel, who had a technical foul.

A Q3-as for the first races, Hamilton gathered himself, leading by nearly 8-tenths of a second ahead of Bottas. He was followed by Verstappen and Ricciardo with a nearly one-second lead, while the temporary third line was leased by Perez and Sainz. Behind them were Ocon and Red Bull’s Alex Albon, with the top ten standing by Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and Lando Norris (McLaren).

For the finale, everyone screwed up the engines and put on new tires. First Bottas, then Ocon and Hamilton cut him to their last fast lap. They were followed by Gasly and Ricciardo, the line closed by Verstappen. Both Mercedes drivers improved on their lap, Bottas could do nothing against his record-breaking fast lap. The six-time world champion took the 96th pole position of his career with a time of 1: 31,304. Bottast was also overtaken by Verstappen at the last minute, so the Finn could only start in third place on Sunday next to Perez. Figures 5-6. place became Ricciardó and Sainzé, followed by teammates Ocon and Norris. Gasly and Albon shared places in the top ten last labels.

The 2020 Formula One Russian Grand Prix will start earlier than usual at 15.10 on Sunday afternoon.

Image source (s): Getty Images

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