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Hamilton takes control from Bottas in final Russian GP practice

Hamilton takes control from Bottas in final Russian GP practice

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Hamilton takes control from Bottas in final Russian GP practice

Hamilton takes control from Bottas in final Russian GP practice

Lewis Hamilton topped final practice for the Russian Grand Prix, getting the upper hand over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas for the first time of the weekend.

A lap time of one minute 33.279 seconds saw Hamilton comfortably top final practice at the Sochi Autodrom.

In the early stages of the hour long session, drivers up and down the pitlane had been complaining of a lack of grip from the Russian tarmac, but as the temperatures grew, the lap times tumbled.

Bottas, who had topped both previous practice sessions, struggled most, setting times half a second slower than his Friday best and 0.776secs slower than Hamilton's practice three benchmark.

Carlos Sainz, running an older specification front wing than McLaren team-mate Lando Norris, set the third fastest time of the session. Norris failed to set a representative time in the session, nor did Red Bull driver Alex Albon who saw his only attempt deleted for a track limits violation.

An early effort from Max Verstappen had given hope that the Dutchman could get involved in the battle for pole, but the Dutchman ended final practice sixth and 1.027secs off Hamilton.

Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were fourth and fifth for Renault and Racing Point.

It was a rare positive session for Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari as he went seventh fastest, 0.212 faster than team-mate Charles Leclerc in 12th.

Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top 10, with the latter suffering a bizarre problem on his final run as his wing mirror failed and ended up pointing to the sky.

There were spins for Pierre Gasly and Romain Grosjean, both at Turn 15 as bumps in the surface caught out the two Frenchman.

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