Russian grand prix underway as Bottas tops practice one

Valtteri Bottas led Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes one-two in first practice at the Russian Grand Prix.

He was 0.211 seconds ahead of Hamilton, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third just 0.016secs behind his title rival, who the Dutchman leads by five points.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who starts at the back of the grid after a penalty for using too many engines, was fourth.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly completed the top six. Verstappen has a three-place grid penalty after being adjudged “predominantly to blame” for causing his crash with Hamilton during the last race in Italy.

Red Bull have say  they are considering whether to fit his car with a new engine, which would mean he would join Leclerc at the back of the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo, who ended McLaren’s nine-year winless drought with a fine triumph in Italy, was only 14th here, nearly one second slower than team-mate Lando Norris.

Home favourite Nikita Mazepin finished 19th for Haas ahead of team-mate Mick Schumacher. It was announced on Thursday that both drivers will be retained by Haas for 2022.

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