Valtteri Bottas tops Russian Grand Prix first practice

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. 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. And Red Bull have said 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. Verstappen needs to take another engine to have sufficient supply to make it to the end of the season, after one was damaged in his crash with Hamilton at the British Grand Prix in July. Verstappen did only 13 laps in the session, compared to more than 20 for most other drivers, and the Dutchman’s Red Bull ended it in the garage up on stands.

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