Formula 1 2021: Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas sets fastest time in first practice, Lewis Hamilton in second

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Sochi: Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time in the first practice session for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas' best time of 1 minute, 34.427 seconds was .211 faster than Hamilton. Championship leader Max Verstappen of Red Bull was .016 further back in third.

Charles Leclerc placed fourth for Ferrari and Red Bull driver Sergio Perez was ninth.

Both Friday sessions are expected to be dry, with heavy rain predicted for qualifying on Saturday and rain considered likely for Sunday's race.

Verstappen will have a three-place grid penalty for the race because of his role in a crash with Hamilton at the last race in Italy.

Also See: Formula 1: Valtteri Bottas grabs pole for Italian GP Sprint after beating teammate Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 2021: Valtteri Bottas tops practice, Max Verstappen to start Russian GP in last place for fitting new engine

Formula 1: Valtteri Bottas wins sprint at Italian Grand Prix; Max Verstappen takes pole position

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