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Russian GP final practice & debate

Russian GP final practice & debate

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Lewis Hamilton

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  1. Final practice under way
  2. Qualifying at 13:00 BST
  3. Get involved #bbcf1: would you re-sign Grosjean and Kvyat?

Live Reporting

By Niamh Lewis

All times stated are UK

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  1. A little spin for Grosjean

    Grosjean radio: “Check everything is ok, I suddenly lost the front end big time.”

    But nothing too serious…

  2. We look quite far away – Vettel

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Sebastian Vettel arrived in Russian knowing that he
    and Ferrari had to make the weekend count, and close the points gap to Lewis
    Hamilton. But it has not started well. Vettel topped the first session – but
    not when you took tyres used into account – and was more than 0.5secs a lap
    slower than Hamilton in the second. He confirmed afterwards that it had not
    gone to plan.

    “We look quite far away,” he said. “Struggling a bit on one lap
    but also on the long run we went through our tyres a bit harder and quicker
    than the rest. But just looking at ourselves it was not a good day in terms of
    feel for the car. There is more we need to get to.” Hamilton, meanwhile, was
    talking about having “a good day”. Can Ferrari get themselves back in the game
    in this final practice session before qualifying?

    Sebastian Vettel

    Copyright: Reuters

  3. Post update

    Just on Ferrari – they’ve been our main talking point this week with the ‘limping horse’ metaphor. Jack Nicholls says he can’t tell how much is Ferrari and how much is Vettel making mistakes… but either way, the pressure is on for Ferrari in today’s qualifying session, in order to get that pole position and stay ahead tomorrow.

    To listen to more on that, check out the chequered flag podcast via BBC Radio 5 live.

  4. Post update

    The Ferrari boys are out, and are top of the leaderboard for now, with Raikkonen following Vettel.

  5. Get Involved

    #bbcf1 Transfer news

    Stoo G: With Daniil Kvyat heading back to Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s junior team is in severe danger of having two older drivers than its senior team next year…

    Karen Waddy: Excellent timing from Toro Rosso with the Kyvat news. I’d give him a second bite of the cherry now he’s had time to mature.

    Kayleigh: Honestly wouldn’t resign Kvyat. Wouldn’t keep bringing him back, to sack him off midway through the season.
    Grosjean is also a nope from me. Just a lot more talent in the pool to waste a seat on him.

  6. The latest in the driver market

    The latest in the transfer market is the signing of Daniil Kvyat to go back to Toro Rosso.

    Remarkable? Surprising?

    Tweet us your thoughts via #bbcf1

    Andrew Benson has kindly provided some good insight to Kvyat’s previous movements between Ferrari and Red Bull, which you can read here.

    Daniil Kvyat

    Copyright: Getty Images

  7. Who is out on track?

    Fernando Alonso and both Williams drivers: Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, are out. Sochi is Sirotkin’s first home race, can he impress a home crowd?

  8. Post update

    After that little voice incident for Max Verstappen (his mechanic just mocked him via the team radio for what sounded like his voice was breaking), now’s a good time to inform you it’s his 21st birthday tomorrow, still a young lad.

    Gasly, is slightly older, but…

  9. Let’s go for final practice

  10. Listen to Jack Nicholls, and Jolyon Palmer

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    We are live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra right now and you can also listen via this page by pressing the play button at the top to listen to our always excellent team of Jack Nicholls and Jolyon Palmer.

  11. Haas stick with their driver line-up

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Haas announced on Friday that it was sticking with
    the same driver line-up next year, and Kevin Magnussen revealed he at least
    will be there in 2020 as well. “I’m looking forward to two years and maybe
    more,” the Dane said. Magnussen’s approach to his career has been affected by
    his experience at his first two teams, McLaren and Renault.

    McLaren dropped him
    after one year, after initially saying they would keep him, when politics
    intervened. And back in 2016, he chose Haas over Renault because the French
    team had only offered him a one-year deal, and he wanted more security. “I like
    having two years because it gives you a long time to figure out what you want
    to do,” he said. “You don’t have to stress about it already in the first year.

    “You can get a feeling for what you want to do a year and a half ahead. You can
    focus on the future without any stress. As was already well known, he confirmed
    that he and Haas agreed “very, very early” to continue their relationship.
    Romain Grosjean was on rockier ground for some time after his incident-strewn
    start to the season but has turned things around. No word yet on how long his
    new deal is.

    Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean

    Copyright: Reuters

  12. Post update

  13. Post update

    But first we have final practice session to get through, and some more transfers to discuss…

  14. Good morning

    Get ready for what looks like a relatively lively qualifying session this afternoon from 13:00 BST – which is set to be an important one since the Russian street circuit around the Olympic Park is difficult for overtaking.

    It looks like a battle for pole between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, since Vettel needs to make a good start in clawing back some of those 40 points that Hamilton leads by, and Hamilton should probably want to increase that lead.

    And since the Red Bulls will be starting at the back tomorrow after taking engine penalties this weekend, there aren’t any charging bulls to disrupt the Ferrari v Mercedes battle at the front…

    Unless anyone else fancies having a shot at taking pole, wouldn’t that be interesting at this point in the season?

    Hamilton Vettel

    Copyright: EPA

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