Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton ended practice at the Qatar Grand Prix comfortably ahead of the pack after a second successive day of rear wing problems for Red Bull Racing.

Bottas was quicker than Hamilton around the new-to-F1 Losail International Circuit for the third straight session, topping the final practice hour by 0.078s. Despite FP3 taking place in unrepresentatively warm daytime conditions in comparison to qualifying or the race, the Finn lowered the track record by another 0.8s, down to 1m22.573s.

Red Bull had no answer to the Mercedes pace in the final practice hour, with Max Verstappen 0.341s off the pace in third and teammate Sergio Perez another 0.2 further back in fifth.

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Valtteri Bottas has topped the crucial second practice session at the Qatar Grand Prix after Red Bull Racing hit rear wing trouble.

With the sun down, lights on and track temperatures some 20 degrees F cooler, conditions representative of qualifying and the race, Bottas lowered the benchmark set in the afternoon session by almost 0.6s with a time of 1m23.148s. It was the Finn’s second hot lap on the same set of soft tires, having lost an almost identical time to track limits earlier in the session.

Pierre Gasly impressed with second in the order for the second straight session, the AlphaTauri driver just 0.209s shy of Bottas’s best.

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Valtteri Bottas has held off Max Verstappen to take pole position for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in F1’s third ever sprint race.

Valtteri Bottas will start the Sao Paulo Grand Prix from pole position after beating Max Verstappen to sprint victory in Interlagos. Lewis Hamilton, who started at the back of the grid after being thrown out of qualifying with an illegal rear wing, gained 15 places to finish fifth.

Bottas got a great launch with soft tires from second on the grid while polesitter Verstappen struggled on the mediums. By Turn 1 the Finn was easily into the lead, leaving the Dutchman to fend off advances from Carlos Sainz, who slipped into second exiting Turn 4, where the Red Bull ran wide on cold tires.

It took a couple of laps for the medium rubber to warm up in the cool temperature, the track sinking to just 95 degrees F after a warmer morning practice. By the end of lap three Verstappen was sizing up Sainz for second, taking back the place from the Spaniard on the pit straight and into Turn 1, before chipping away to Bottas’s lead, the leaders sprinting around a second a lap quicker than the field.

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Valtteri Bottas has beaten Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to pole position for a surprise Mercedes front-row lockout at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Mercedes has secured a shock front row lockout at the Mexico City Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas beating teammate Lewis Hamilton by 0.145s.

The German marque looked down and out throughout practice, but apparent problems with Red Bull Racing’s rear wing set up Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to underperform through the crucial grid-setting hour.

Black tape appeared on the ends of the rear wing flap on Verstappen’s car in response to apparent structural problems discovered during practice. The team subsequently neglected to engineer a slipstream with Sergio Perez on the first lap, handing Mercedes an opportunity to snatch provisional pole.

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Valtteri Bottas bested teammate Lewis Hamilton in a dusty opening practice session at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

The Mercedes pair were split by just 0.076s after an hour on track, the Finn setting the pace with a time of 1m18.341s, but Briton will face a post-session stewards investigation for running wide at Turn 1 and cutting across the grass to rejoin at Turn 3 without driving wide around the traffic cone as required.

Max Verstappen — heavy favorite for victory ahead of the weekend on account of Red Bull Racing’s form at this track — was third and just 0.123s off the headline pace.

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Valtteri Bottas led a comfortable Mercedes one-two in first practice for the United States Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas, almost a second ahead of Max Verstappen.

The Finn’s fastest time of 1m34.874s was 0.045s quicker than Lewis Hamilton’s best effort and a substantial 0.932s faster than Max Verstappen’s quickest lap.

Bottas’s lap was built on a particularly impressive second sector, comprising Turns 7 to 12 and the long back straight. He gained half a second on Verstappen through that sector alone, and his 0.2s advantage over Hamilton through the middle split was enough to offset slower times in over the balance of the track.

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Valtteri Bottas starred in the Turkish Grand Prix with a faultless wet-weather performance to help teammate Lewis Hamilton minimise the damage of a difficult weekend.

Valtteri Bottas has beaten Max Verstappen to an easy victory at the Turkish Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton slumped to fifth in the wet.

Valtteri Bottas dominated a wet Turkish Grand Prix, but Max Verstappen has retaken the world championship lead by finishing second while Lewis Hamilton faded to fifth after rising as high as third from his 11th-place start.

Rain drenched the track in the morning, and although it reduced to barely a drizzle for the race, the track never truly dries, and the entire race was run with wet rubber.

In the tricky conditions Bottas executed the perfect start from pole to hold Max Verstappen in second at the first apex, and from there he wielded his Mercedes to perfection to constantly massage open the gap to the Dutchman until it was effectively insurmountable.

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Lewis Hamilton beat teammate Valtteri Bottas to the fastest time of qualifying at the Turkish Grand Prix, although a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change will promote the Finn to pole position for the race.

Max Verstappen will start alongside Bottas on the front row after finishing the afternoon third.

Mercedes’s superiority at Istanbul Park has been clear from first practice on Friday, and even the jeopardy of a sprinkling of rain at the start of qualifying did little to dampen Hamilton’s position as the favourite for the session.

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Valtteri Bottas consolidated his position as the fastest man in Sochi after sweeping Friday practice at the Russian Grand Prix. The Finn again had the measure of teammate Lewis Hamilton in a comfortable Mercedes one-two result, although the pair was more closely matched than in FP1, with Bottas leading the way by just 0.044s.

Hamilton was fastest in the first sector, but he slipped more than 0.3s to Bottas at the middle split, which he couldn’t recover in the final part of the lap. The Briton then had a strange collision with his front jackman, arriving too hot in his pit box and knocking him over. He later explained that he’d accidentally left on the “brake magic” brake bias setting.

In the unlikely but nonetheless contemplated event FP3 and qualifying cannot be run this weekend, with heavy rain forecast for Saturday, the results of second practice will set the grid for Sunday’s race, earning Bottas pole position.

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Valtteri Bottas led the way in first practice for Mercedes at the Russian Grand Prix ahead of title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The Finn, fresh from his strong performance at the Italian Grand Prix two weeks ago, went fastest with a time of 1m34.427s, beating teammate Hamilton by 0.211s.

Verstappen was third, just 0.016s further adrift, albeit with the championship leader using a second set of new soft tires late in the hour to set his best time, benefiting from rapidly improving conditions on the dusty street circuit. This flattered the Dutchman’s morning, and he ended the session with only 13 laps to his name and with his car on jacks in the garage.

It was an unusual example of a first practice session for the appearance of the red-walled rubber, which is usually held in its blankets for the more representative afternoon conditions. However, the high chance of rain on Saturday, including for qualifying, freed teams to use the fastest tire in what is ordinarily a session reserved for setup exploration, with every driver using at least one set each.

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Max Verstappen will start the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after Saturday sprint winner Valtteri Bottas is handed a grid penalty for an engine change.

Valtteri Bottas scored a light-to-flag victory in the season’s second Saturday sprint, but an engine penalty will promote second-placed Max Verstappen to pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Bottas’s 18-lap race was completely untroubled after a clean launch from the line, though the same couldn’t be said for teammate Lewis Hamilton. Starting from the second row, the Briton sunk to fifth behind Verstappen and both McLaren cars with a tardy start that left him crowded into the first chicane.

Pierre Gasly got caught up in the crush. The Frenchman zipped around the fading Hamilton’s outside at Rettifilo but in the process nudged the back of Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, breaking his front wing. The AlphaTauri’s wing collapsed and dropped beneath Gasly’s car as he powered through Curva Grande, sending him careening through the gravel and into the wall, causing a two-lap safety car.

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Valtteri Bottas will start the Italian Grand Prix sprint race from the head of the grid after beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time of qualifying.

Valtteri Bottas will start the Saturday sprint at the Italian Grand Prix from pole position after just edging teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying.

The Finn started Q3 with a scruffy initial lap, leaving him fifth and 0.4s off Hamilton’s pace after dipping a wheel on the gravel at the Roggia chicane, but his second attempt was clinical, setting two purple sectors a the first to splits to beat Hamilton by just 0.069s.

Bottas is equipped with a brand-new power unit this weekend after Mercedes made a tactical change to sure up his allocation to the end of the season, which means the Finn will serve the back-of-grid penalty for Sunday’s race, but not before he gets an opportunity to score three points for a sprint victory beforehand.

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