Lewis Hamilton trundles to just 19th in first Russian GP practice session, damaging his hopes of record-equalling 91st career win… as team-mate Valtteri Bottas tops time sheets

Lewis Hamilton’s maiden shot at matching Michael Schumacher’s victory record began by finishing a surprise last but one in opening practice for the Russian Grand Prix. But the six-time world champion was only 19th here at the Sochi Autodrom, 2.8 seconds slower than pace-setter Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton struggled in first practice at the Russia GP on Friday, coming in just 19th. The Mercedes driver came in 2.8 seconds behind his team-mate Valtteri Bottas who leads. Hamilton’s chance of a quick lap was thwarted when he was caught out under braking for the opening corner. For team-mate Bottas, who trails Hamilton in the championship standings by 55 points, there were no such concerns as he headed the time charts by 0.507sec. Bottas looks ready to try and challenge Hamilton once more after a two week break.

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