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FP1: Leclerc narrowly heads Verstappen in Sochi

  • Published on 27 Sep 2019 11:32
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc has ended the opening practice session from the Russian Grand Prix weekend on top of the times, setting a 1:34.462.

The Monegasque driver, who has taken pole position at the last three events, was marginally ahead of Max Verstappen, who was less than a tenth of a second behind.

Verstappen will take a five-place grid penalty this weekend, as will teammate Alexander Albon and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly.

Daniil Kvyat, who will start from the back of the pit lane, saw his session come to an early end as he was forced to park up in the final sector with a suspected engine issue.

Kvyat was running a new Honda Spec 4 engine for the session, with Honda confirming that it was investigating the issue ahead of second practice later in the afternoon.

After picking up his first win of the 2019 season last time out in Singapore, Sebastian Vettel was third, leading the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton

Towards the end of the session, there was a rear wing problem for Bottas, as his DRS seemingly failed to open on one side of the wing. 

Albon was sixth in the second Red Bull, two-tenths ahead of the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.

Drivers had to cope with a new slalom bollard system at Turn 2, with drivers told to go around three different bollards before rejoining the circuit.

However, the system caused problems for drivers that bailed out of Turn 2 too late to make the first and second signs.

Daniel Ricciardo was eighth, while Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten only marginally ahead of Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly. 

At the end of the session, Ricciardo spun at Turn 10 backing into the barriers and damaging his rear wing. 

The second practice session will get underway at 15:00 local time.

Photos Russia 2019

RU Sochi Autodrom - 27 September 2019

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  • Country Netherlands
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (23)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), Netherlands
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
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20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
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25 - Jun 27
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2 - Jul 4
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16 - Jul 18
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30 - Aug 1
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27 - Aug 29
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3 - Sep 5
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10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
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8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
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