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Sainz and Latifi crash in Russian FP1, Bottas fastest, Hamilton 19th

Sainz and Latifi crash in Russian FP1, Bottas fastest, Hamilton 19th

F1 News

Sainz and Latifi crash in Russian FP1, Bottas fastest, Hamilton 19th

Sainz and Latifi crash in Russian FP1, Bottas fastest, Hamilton 19th

Carlos Sainz and Nicholas Latifi were both involved in first practice crashes ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom.

McLaren driver Sainz was the first to suffer 35 minutes into the session, sliding off at the Turn 7 right-hander, with the rear-wing taking the full force of the impact, resulting in a virtual safety car period.

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl politely described the incident as "not the greatest start to this weekend", leading to Sainz failing to make it back out on the 5.848km track, missing valuable running.

Less than half-an-hour later, Williams driver Latifi suffered a heavier shunt at Turn 10, initially smashing into a barrier with his rear-wing on the FW43, but with the force spinning him around enough for the left-hand side of the car's nose to end up buried.

That brought out the red flags in order for Latifi's car to be retrieved, and leaving the Canadian rooted to the foot of the timesheet, finishing 2.861secs behind Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.

The Finn posted a time of one minute 34.923s to finish comfortably half-a-second quicker than Renault's Daniel Ricciardo in second and ending up quickest in FP1 for the sixth consecutive race.

As for team-mate Lewis Hamilton, the six-time F1 champion was clearly on a different run plan to Bottas as he finished a lowly 19th, just 0.068s clear of Latifi, and 2.793s behind Bottas.

The Briton spent the entire session on the hard tyres, locking up at one stage into Turn 1, forcing him to take the makeshift escape route.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third quickest, 0.654s down, followed by Sergio Perez in his Racing Point, and the only other driver to finish within a second of Bottas, with the Mexican 0.873s down.

Perez was followed by team-mate Lance Stroll and Renault's Esteban Ocon, with the top six all running on the soft tyre, along with eighth-placed Alex Albon in his Red Bull, who finished 1.331s shy of Bottas.

Seventh-placed Daniil Kvyat, and team-mate Pierre Gasly in 10th, along with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in ninth, were all on the medium compound, while Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari was on the soft in 11th, nearly two seconds down.

Behind Sainz in 12th was team-mate Lando Norris, followed by the Alfa Romeos of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen, who this weekend will equal the record for the most number of race starts set at 322 by Rubens Barrichello.

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