F1 Russian Grand Prix PRACTICE CANCELLED LIVE: Updates from Sochi as rain hits another race – stream, TV, latest updates

FINAL practice has been cancelled at the Russian Grand Prix with heavy rain moving in over Sochi.

Qualifying could also be scrapped with thunderstorms forecast over the Black Sea coastal city.

This weekend is set to be a crucial one in the drivers' championship, with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen grappling for crucial points.

  • Practice 3: Cancelled
  • Qualifying: 1pm UK
  • TV channel: Sky Sports F1

Follow ALL the latest with our live blog below…


  • George Boulton


    The heavens really opened this morning, leading to the first F2 race being cancelled before the plug was pulled on the final practice session.

    F1 are hopeful of qualifying starting as planned at 1pm.


  • George Boulton


  • Giacomo Pisa


    You can see why bosses at the track in Sochi decided to cancel the practice session.

    Credit: AP
    Credit: Getty
  • Giacomo Pisa


    The final practice session in Sochi set to get underway in les than five minutes has been CANCELLED.

    Heavy rain at the track has forced chiefs to abandon the scheduled session.

    And with rain predicted for the rest of the day it remains to be seen what will happen to qualifying, scheduled to start at 1pm.

  • Giacomo Pisa


    The rain has well and truly arrived in Sochi ahead of today's practice and qualifying.

    And the wet weather is set to continue throughout the afternoon…

    NINTCHDBPICT000682280569-1Credit: AP
    Credit: AP


  • Giacomo Pisa


    Just 30 minutes to go now until the driver's take to the track for the final practice session before qualifying gets underway this afternoon.

    Yesterday's fastest time in practice was Valteri Bottas' 1:35.593, with teammate Lewis Hamilton a close second.

    Max Verstappen was over a second behind that in his Red Bull.

    But what does the Dutchman have in store today?

  • Giacomo Pisa


    And here's how the driver standings shape up ahead of lights out tomorrow:

    1. Max Verstappen – 225.6pts
    2. Lewis Hamilton – 221.5pts
    3. Valteri Bottas – 141pts
    4. Lando Norris – 132pts
    5. Sergio Perez – 118pts
    6. Charles Leclerc – 104pts
    7. Carlos Sainz – 97.5pts
    8. Daniel Ricciardo – 83pts
    9. Pierre Gasly – 66pts
    10. Fernando Alonso – 50pts
  • Giacomo Pisa


    Lewis Hamilton's Valteri Bottas set the benchmark time in practice yesterday.

    And here's a look at the ten quickest times of the weekend so far.

    1. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes 1:33.593
    2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes +0.044
    3. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +0.252
    4. Lando Norris, McLaren +0.561
    5. Esteban Ocon, Alpine +0.809
    6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull +1.028
    7. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari  +1.085
    8. Fernando Alonso, Alpine +1.169
    9. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +1.244
    10. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +1.332
  • Giacomo Pisa


    Here's what's to still come from Sochi:


    • Practice – 10am (UK time)
    • Qualifying – 1pm (UK time)


    • Race – 1pm (UK time)
    • Giacomo Pisa


      And Hamilton has also admitted that Max Verstappen should have won both the Bahrain and Baku GP's.

      Hamilton himself won in Bahrain ahead of the Red Bull driver, while Verstappen did not finish in Baku due to tire failure.

      And Hamilton admitted: "We are fighting against a different team, Red Bull, who have actually had an edge for a very long time.

      "Max should have won in Bahrain and Baku, for example. Then his lead would have been a lot bigger."

    • Giacomo Pisa


      Max Verstappen has faced criticism for his no holds barred, aggressive driving style.

      And Lewis Hamilton has revealed he sometimes holds back when racing wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen to avoid crashing.

      The Brit said: "I also had a time when I was too aggressive, that I should have held back.

      "For example in a fight with Felipe Massa, in which I took too much risk and damaged the front suspension. End of race. I'm much more mature now.

      "Yes, I hold back in certain scenarios when I drive against Max. Because otherwise we would crash more often.

      "I then try to outsmart him in another way."

    • Giacomo Pisa


      Sochi is the venue for this weekend's Russian Grand Prix.

      The track first held a GP in 2014, with the race itself involving 53 laps around its 5.848km circuit.

      Credit: Getty
    • Giacomo Pisa


      Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have both been criticised in recent weeks as their ongoing battle for the world championship hots up.

      But Toto Wolff insists the two remain respectful of each other.

      He said: "I think the very good ones recognise the other very good ones.

      "Therefore, from a driving standpoint, there will be a lot of respect for each other like with some others on track.

      "The personalities are very different, their lives are very different but that has no interference on the respect of the ability of the guy in the other car."

    • Giacomo Pisa


      Mercedes team director Toto Wolff has revealed Lewis Hamilton has decided on a 'change of approach' when it comes to battling wheel to wheel with Max Verstappen.

      The Red Bull driver is renowned for his bold driving style, with Hamilton now set to follow.

      Wolff said: "We are discussing these things in detail and I think the change of approach is that Lewis pretty much decided not to bail out anymore if he thinks that the corner is his.

      "It needs two to tango and needs two to understand each other on track when a collision can be avoided.

      "They are in the cars, we have no influence on the driving and they know much better than we do how much the other one is racing. It is interesting to watch."

    • Giacomo Pisa


      The F1 Russian Grand Prix hots up today with qualifying from Sochi.
      Sergio Perez is out to upset the Mercedes apple cart after Max Verstappen took a hefty grid penalty that will mean he starts Sunday’s race at the back.

      Having already been penalised for crashing into Lewis Hamilton at Monza, a new power unit means the Dutchman has it all to do – with qualifying a sideshow for his weekend.

      Charles Leclerc has also taken a fresh engine in his Ferrari.

      Therefore there is a big chance of a surprise result in qualy – with rain expected.

      On Friday, Valtteri Bottas led the way in second practice, edging Lewis Hamilton into second.

      The seven-time champ accidentally sent an engineer flying after arriving too hot into his pit box, due to a brake ‘magic’ setting being on and reducing his stopping power.

    • Marc Mayo

      'SO WORRIED'

      Lewis Hamilton has apologised for wiping out a mechanic during practice for the Russian Grand Prix.

      Hamilton says "my heart was in my mouth" after knocking the man over when he broke too late entering Mercedes' box in the pit lane.

      The mechanic had stood his ground but scrambled backwards quickly when he realised Hamilton's car was going to hit him.

      But after he was sent flying to the ground he climbed back up and gave a thumbs-up sign.

      View this post on Instagram

      A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton)

    • Marc Mayo


      Check out the calendar for the 2021 F1 season, and realise just how much of this year we still have left to enjoy…

      🏁F1 2021 calendar: practice times, dates and racetrack info

    • Marc Mayo


      Aston Martin boss Otmar Szafnauer expects qualifying to take place tomorrow despite the threat of rain.

      Downpours ruined the recent Belgian GP and F1 have made alterations to the Russian schedule, moving the Saturday morning F3 race to tonight to provide more slack.

      But Szafnauer expects qualifying to proceed without too much delay.

      He stated: “It's the understanding it will be wet in the morning and it will try to clear up in the afternoon, so we didn't alter our programme that much.

      "I think some other people tried to perhaps get higher up on the timesheets just in case the session [FP2] is used for the grid. Well, we didn't do any of that."

      “I think we'll get qualifying in – by hook or by crook."

    • Marc Mayo


      British driver Callum Ilott will race in IndyCar next year.

      Juncos Hollinger have signed the Ferrari academy driver up for the full 2022 campaign following a few races this season.

      The 22-year-old has been part of the Alfa Romeo F1 team in 2021, as second reserve to Robert Kubica.

    • Marc Mayo


      The ‘velvet gloves’ are off for Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

      Crashes in Silverstone and Monza have seen both title rivals take penalties this season but Wolff believes little will change between now and the end of the year.

      He stated: “These two are racing for a drivers’ championship and you can’t expect them to have velvet gloves on.

      “I think the change of approach is that Lewis pretty much decided not to bail out anymore when he thinks that the corner is his.

      “It needs two to tango, it needs two to understand each other on track and when a collision can be avoided.

      “But they are in the cars, we have no influence on the driving and they will know much better than us how the other one is racing yourself and it’s interesting to watch.”

    • Marc Mayo

      RIC’S ROLL

      Daniel Ricciardo claimed victory last time out in Italy but started Sochi Grand Prix practice with a ‘messy’ Friday.

      After a power unit issue, the Aussie’s running was hit by red and yellow flags.

      He explained: “[It was] a pretty unstable Friday but I guess the glass half full [approach is] better today than Saturday or Sunday, so hopefully that’s done and dusted now.

      "But there’s no denying it, it obviously affected our day, and when we did get out there, there’s yellows, there’s reds and we’re trying to do a lap and people are on high fuels, so it was definitely messy.”

      Credit: Alamy
    • Marc Mayo


      Helmut Marko believes Mercedes will also have to take an engine penalty at some point this season, to lessen the blow of Max Verstappen’s grid drop.

      With a three-place penalty anyway for his Monza crash, the Dutchman starts from the back on Sunday in a potentially wet race.

      Red Bull chief Marko stated: “With Turkey, Austin and Mexico our circuits are coming up again. We assume Mercedes will take the penalty there. 

      "On the one hand Max can show his driving qualities in the rain. On the other hand, in the rain there is a greater risk of someone hitting your car or the spray not allowing you to overtake properly.”

    • Marc Mayo


      Lewis Hamilton plans on spending his Friday night at his laptop after Mercedes gathered a shed load of data for their setup this weekend.

      After narrowly missing out on first-place in FP2 to team-mate Valtteri Bottas, the defending champion was optimistic about the Mercs’ day.

      He said: "We had two good sessions today pace-wise. We ticked off as much as we could working through different setup items and had very clean runs with no issues so overall it was a good day. 

      “Valtteri and I went quite different with our setups to see which areas work best and we'll spend tonight studying the data to understand where we want the car for tomorrow and Sunday. 

      “It looks like it will be a lot of rain tomorrow, a big wet day, and we'll have to consider our setup with that in mind but keeping an eye on Sunday which is set to be dry."

      Credit: Splash
    • Marc Mayo


      Charles Leclerc has also taken a new engine this weekend and will start from the back alongside Max Verstappen.

      The Ferrari star focused on the race during Friday practice and said: “We ran different programmes across our two cars today.

      “My focus was on race simulation rather than on qualifying pace as I will start from the back of the grid on Sunday.”

    • Marc Mayo


      Max Verstappen has tweeted his reaction to this weekend’s engine penalty.

      He told fans: “Taking everything into account, it was best to take the engine penalty here in Sochi. It will be a challenging race but so far I’m happy with today’s running and our work on the race set-up.”

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