Boullier: 10 out of 10 for Kimi in 2013 so far

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has expressed his delight over Kimi Raikkonen’s performances so far in 2013, saying that he would score the Finn’s season at “ten out of ten.”

Raikkonen won the opening round of the season in Australia, and he is the only driver to have scored points at every race in 2013 so far. This consistency has elevated him to second place in the drivers’ championship, and Boullier could not be happier.

“I would have to give Kimi ten out of ten,” Boullier told the Lotus F1 Team website. “He’s done a terrific job right from the beginning of the season and his remarkable run of twenty-seven consecutive points finishes speaks for itself.

“No matter what happens he’s always there, as we saw in the final few laps at Monaco. He is playing a big part in pushing the team forwards, and of course having such a popular character in the seat has its advantages too.”

Raikkonen’s points-scoring streak is now an all-time record in Formula One, but with Red Bull actively pursuing the Finn as a replacement for Mark Webber in 2014, he may be entering his final half-season with Lotus.

Lotus’ best chance to win for a second time in 2013 may come at the next round in Belgium. Raikkonen is one of the most successful drivers to have tackled the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, winning the race four times and finishing on the podium last season.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

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The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.