Russian GP: Bottas remains P1, Giovinazzi crashes in Practice 2

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Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes continued to lead in second practice at the Russian Grand Prix on Friday.

After going fastest in the morning, the Finn would go almost nine-tenths quicker than his earlier benchmark posting a 1m33.593s, half a tenth ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The seven-time world champion also had a small scare in the pit-lane as he misjudged his braking into the box and knocked down the front jackman as a result.

At Red Bull, it was confirmed Max Verstappen will start Sunday's race at the back of the grid as the team decided this was the weekend to fit his fourth engine, resulting in a penalty.

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That meant the Dutchman held back to focus more on long-run pace as he finished sixth, a second off the pace set by Bottas.

Worryingly for Red Bull, however, Sergio Perez was still three-tenths slower than Verstappen in 11th in the sister car.

Pierre Gasly would be the closest driver to Mercedes in third for AlphaTauri, in fact finishing only a quarter of a second slower.

But at the end of the session, the Frenchman would lose a front wing hitting the sausage kerb and speed bumps on the exit of Turn 2.

Lando Norris took fourth for McLaren, with Esteban Ocon fifth. Carlos Sainz followed Verstappen in seventh ahead of Fernando Alonso in the second Alpine.

Sebastian Vettel was solid again in ninth for Aston Martin, as Charles Leclerc, who also starts at the back of the grid for a new engine, rounded out the top 10.

Further down, Kimi Raikkonen was 12th despite complaining of problems with his eye in Alfa Romeo.

Meanwhile, Antonio Giovinazzi has the biggest crash of Friday, losing it on the Astroturf exiting Turn 8 and slamming rearwards into the barrier.

That would result in the only red flag of the day, disrupting several drivers as it came just after the half-hour mark.

George Russell improved to 13th in the Williams, while Monza race winner Daniel Ricciardo was only 17th in the McLaren, 1.5s slower than Norris.

Yuki Tsunoda's tough day continued in 18th, as Nikita Mazepin also continued to lead Haas teammate Mick Schumacher at the back of the field.

Heading into Saturday, the big question is whether we will see any track action as heavy rain is poised to move into Sochi overnight and for much of the day.

There is hope for qualifying to take place towards the end of the day, if not it could be Sunday before the track action resumes at the Russian GP.

Full results from Practice 2 can be seen below: