F1 Russian Grand Prix LIVE: Qualifying LATEST build-up – Hamilton could equal Schumacher’s F1 wins this weekend – The Sun
FORMULA ONE has headed to Sochi for the Russian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton is on the cusp of history as he could equal Michael Schumacher's record of 91 F1 wins.
Follow ALL of the latest updates from Sochi here..
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said he didn't come close to becoming F1's new boss.
Stefano Domenicali was today confirmed as the new chief of the sport.
And Wolff confirmed talks were held.
But he said: “At the end, it wouldn't have gone anywhere anyway, because Ferrari wouldn't have accepted that.”
TAKING THE MICK
Lewis Hamilton is just one win shy of Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race victories.
And the Brit is nailed on to overtake the legendary Ferrari man – he could even it equal it in Sochi this weekend.
Mick Schumacher is already targeting the day when he can reclaim his dad's record from Hamilton.
He is currently leading the Formula 2 standings and in his press conference said: “Well yeah, one sentence my dad always used to say was ‘records are there to be broken’ and it’s everybody’s aim in the sport to do that.
“I think Lewis had a very, very good run. He had a very consecutive and positive run.
“Records are there to be broken and from our side, we [the Schumacher family] do see it on a good side too. It’s good for the sport, he’s been very influential in this sport too.
“The next aim is for me, if I do make the step [to F1] is to break that [record] again.”
BOT DONE YET
Valterri Bottas admitted there was 'more to come' despite his flying start to the race weekend in Russia.
He topped FP1 and FP2 in Sochi.
And said: “Session one was pretty interrupted with red flags and everything, so quite limited running actually.
“I had a big lock-up also, so destroyed one tyre set. Second practice, we got actually a lot of running, and I still didn't quite get all the sectors right on my fastest lap. So there's still definitely more to come. Actually, quite tricky conditions today. And that's why we saw many people making mistakes.
“It seemed like, especially on the low fuel runs, I was always struggling quite a bit with the rear end. So something to have a look at there. It was more like a rally driving style than F1 driving style. I'm not sure it was the fastest way around.
“As I said earlier, there's still a lot of time on the table and also set-up wise, I think. Sector one, sector two feels really good, actually. But sector three, a bit too nervous, and if we can get it right I'm sure there's more time.”
FP2 IS DONE
Bottas tops both FP1 and FP2 as he comes flying out of the box for the Russian GP.
The Finn is the man the beat and could stop Hamilton from equalling Michael Schumacher's wins record this weekend.
Daniel Ricciardo was third in the best of the rest while McLaren looked very good with Carlos Sainz in P4 and Lando Norris in P5.
Max Verstappen could only go seventh quickest in his Red Bull.
That's his session done. The Brit has done his running for the day and has to settle for second place in the timesheets behind Bottas.
10 MINUTES TO GO
Let's forget about the Merc duo who are MILES ahead.
The battle between the rest is close. McLaren, Renault, Racing Point are all in the mix.
As we wrote earlier this week, Stefano Domenicali has been appointed as President and CEO of Formula 1.
Chase Carey, the current Chairman and CEO, will move to the role of non-executive Chairman in January.
Greg Maffei, Liberty Media President and CEO – who own F1 – said: “Chase has done a phenomenal job leading F1.
“He assembled a first-class commercial and sporting organization that has a long list of achievements, including broadening the appeal of the sport, growing its digital presence, establishing new technical regulations, securing a cost cap for the first time and reaching a new more equitable Concorde agreement with the teams.
“His actions have reinforced F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport. As always, he has been a great partner and I look forward to his continued counsel in his new role as non-executive Chairman.
“We are excited to welcome Stefano Domenicali as President and CEO of Formula 1. Stefano brings a rich history of success in F1 at Ferrari and the broader auto industry at Audi and Lamborghini.”
Carey added: “It has been an honor to lead Formula 1, a truly global sport with a storied past over the last seventy years.
“I’m proud of the team that’s not only navigated through an immensely challenging 2020 but returned with added purpose and determination in the areas of sustainability, diversity and inclusion.
“I’m confident that we’ve built the strong foundation for the business to grow over the long term. It’s
been an adventure and I’ve enjoyed working with the teams, the FIA and all of our partners.
“I look forward to staying involved and supporting Stefano as he takes the wheel.”
Domenicali said: “I am thrilled to join the Formula 1 organization, a sport that has always been part of my life.
“I was born in Imola and live in Monza. I’ve remained connected to the sport through my work
with the Single Seater Commission at the FIA and I look forward to connecting with the teams,
promoters, sponsors and many partners in Formula 1 as we continue to drive the business
“The past six years at Audi and then leading Lamborghini have given me broader perspective and experience that I will bring to Formula 1.”
UNDER 30 MINUTES TO GO
Good news for McLaren fans as they are looking quick in Sochi, while there also appears to be a marginal improvement for Ferrari.
Red Bull on the other hand have some problems.
A COUPLE OF NEAR MISSES
There were a few errors in FP1, the biggest being Nicholas Latifi and Carlos Sainz hitting the barriers.
So far, there has been no such repeat in FP2, although Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen have come close to some high-speed shunts.
AWESOME PACE FROM MERCEDES
Bottas is now 1.8 seconds quicker than the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, who is in third place.
As astonishing gap.
But…Merc are chewing through the soft tyres they have been using for their laps.
HAMILTON AND BOTTAS LOOKING STRONG
As expected, having won every single Russian GP, Mercedes are looking good in Sochi. Their two drivers are leading the way.
PROBLEM FOR LECLERC?
Charles Leclerc's Ferrari is making a strange noise but is still running in P12.
His teammate, Sebastian Vettel is in P14.
HAMILTON GOES INTO P1
For the first time today. the world champion has gone quickest with a lap time that is 0.451seconds quicker than Daniel Ricciardo in P2.
FP2 IS UNDERWAY IN SOCHI
This should be more representative of the cars' actual race pace.
Hamilton will be looking to make improvements on his FP1 time where he suffered a lock up and was off the pace in 19th.
FP1 IS DONE
Bottas tops the session on a set of soft tyres. He was comfortably top of the timesheets ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. That is the sixth time in a row he has topped FP1.
Verstappen in third place.
But Hamilton is really off the pace. Yes, his quickest lap was on the slower, hard tyre that he flat-spotted, but that is a surprise to see him slow low in the timesheets.
HAMILTON HAS WORK TO DO
Once again this year, we have seen Bottas come out of the box the quicker of the two Mercedes men.
He is leading the way and looking comfortable.
Contrast that to Hamilton, who is down in 19th place – 2.8 seconds behind Bottas' time.
The track at Sochi looks smart on the Russian coast in the sunshine.
VERSTAPPEN IS UNHAPPY
Plenty of swearing from the Dutchman, who has been held up on track during his flying lap.
He is currently in third place almost 0.7 seconds behind Bottas's best time.
Hamilton is now out on track with a little over 15 minutes remaining.
Less than 25 minutes to go now in FP1.
It is Bottas, Ocon, Perez, Verstappen and Ricciardo.
Where is Hamilton? He is down in 15th place. He has some work to do.
RED FLAG – SESSION STOPPED
Nicholas Latifi has had a big one at turn 10.
He is ok but winded. Says he is fine and apologises to his Williams team.
He was travelling around 100mph but on the dirty track and carrying too much speed, he ends up in the barriers after losing the rear of his car.
HAMILTON HAS A LOCK UP
His brakes were cold and simply didn't work, so he has a lock up.
He's now back in the pits after radioing to his team that his tyres are done.
Tyres so crucial hear as it is hotter than normal in Sochi, plus Pirelli have brought the softest tyre compound.
SPIN FOR CARLOS SAINZ AND DANIIL KVYAT
The McLaren man loses grip at turn seven and slides backwards into the barriers.
The Spaniard smashes his rear wing that is left hanging off. He trundles back to the pits but has put debris everywhere. Not idea.
Meanwhile, Kyvat also spins it as he loses the rear of his AlphaTauri.
The Virtual Safety Car is deployed as marshals clear up the debris from Sainz.
BOTTAS TOPS THE TIME SHEETS
After 30 minutes, the Finn has posted a time of 1:34.923 that is 1.6 seconds quicker than Sergio Perez who is in P2.
There is plenty going on at the moment as the Mercedes' duo have set lap times.
Daniil Kvyat and Sergio Perez currently the two quickest cars on track.
Mercedes set to return to the top. Remember they have won six out of six Russian GPs.
FANS BACK IN RUSSIA
Like Mugello, a limited number of spectators will be allowed in for this race. There were 3,000 in Tuscany.
That gets upped to 30,000 in Sochi.
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