Valtteri Bottas led another Mercedes one-two in the second practice session for the Russian Grand Prix.
He was separated from team mate Lewis Hamilton by four-hundredths of a second after the second hour of running.
However the session was disrupted by a brief red flag caused when Antonio Giovinazzi spun backwards into a barrier at turn eight. He suffered substantial rear-end damage to his Alfa Romeo, but was able to continue before he was told to stop on track. The session was neutralised while the marshals reaplced the wrecked TecPro barrier, which left its polystyrene and foam innards spilled across the track.
Bottas led Hamilton for the whole session, with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen initially looking competitive but both fading to the lower half of the top ten over the course of second practice.
Hamilton had an uncharacteristically messy incident in his pit box, knocking over his front jack operator. He said on the radio that he had accidentally engaged the ‘brake magic’ mode which effectively disables rear braking in order to add heat to the front. This was much the same error he had made during the race restart at the end of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Mercedes confirmed to Hamilton that the mechanic involved had given a thumbs-up gesture to show he was okay.
Pierre Gasly had a strange incident as the chequered flag fell, when he ran over the sausage kerb at turn two and shattered the front wing of his AlphaTauri, disappearing under the car. He was able to head back to the pits slowly but with a clear demonstration of the risk of running wide.
Despite the incident, Gasly was able to set the third-fastest time, within three tenths of Bottas. Lando Norris, who had had a slightly scrappy morning session, was fourth fastest while Gasly and his team mates, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo, were left 17th and 18th.
Both Alpine and both Ferrari cars placed within the top ten times, Sergio Perez only managing 11th for Red Bull.
2021 Russian Grand Prix second practice result
Second practice visual gaps
Valtteri Bottas – 1’33.593
+0.044 Lewis Hamilton – 1’33.637
+0.252 Pierre Gasly – 1’33.845
+0.561 Lando Norris – 1’34.154
+0.809 Esteban Ocon – 1’34.402
+1.028 Max Verstappen – 1’34.621
+1.085 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’34.678
+1.169 Fernando Alonso – 1’34.762
+1.244 Sebastian Vettel – 1’34.837
+1.332 Charles Leclerc – 1’34.925
+1.345 Sergio Perez – 1’34.938
+1.459 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’35.052
+1.501 George Russell – 1’35.094
+1.585 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’35.178
+1.741 Lance Stroll – 1’35.334
+1.818 Nicholas Latifi – 1’35.411
+2.037 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’35.630
+2.361 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’35.954
+2.506 Nikita Mazepin – 1’36.099
+2.637 Mick Schumacher – 1’36.230
Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.
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2021 Russian Grand Prix
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