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FP1: Leclerc narrowly heads Verstappen in Sochi

  • Published on 27 Sep 2019 11:32
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  • 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.

RU Sochi Autodrom - 27 September 2019

Photos Russia 2019

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  • Country Netherlands
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (22)
  • Place of b. Hasselt, Netherlands
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
15 - Mar 17
Australia
29 - Mar 31
Bahrain
-
Bahrain
12 - Apr 14
China
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan
10 - May 12
Spain
-
Spain
23 - May 26
Monaco
7 - Jun 9
Canada
21 - Jun 23
France
28 - Jun 30
Austria
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom
26 - Jul 28
Germany
2 - Aug 4
Hungary
30 - Sep 1
Belgium
6 - Sep 8
Italy
20 - Sep 22
Singapore
27 - Sep 29
Russian
11 - Oct 13
Japan
25 - Oct 27
Mexico
1 - Nov 3
United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
23 - May 26
Monaco Monte Carlo
7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
26 - Jul 28
Germany Hockenheimring
2 - Aug 4
Hungary Hungaroring
30 - Sep 1
6 - Sep 8
Italy Monza
20 - Sep 22
27 - Sep 29
Russian Sochi Autodrom
11 - Oct 13
25 - Oct 27
1 - Nov 3
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
15 - Nov 17
Brazil Interlagos
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
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