Scott Dixon tops Sonoma morning warm-up

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Scott Dixon, who starts on the outside front row alongside teammate Dario Franchitti for today’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN), was fastest in this morning’s 30-minute warmup with a lap of 1 minute, 18.9674 seconds around the Sonoma Raceway.

Dixon and Franchitti have been the strongest drivers so far this weekend at Sonoma, and would appear to be the ones that the rest of the field will have to go through in order to claim victory today in northern California.

As for the pole sitter Franchitti, who has been surging lately with three podium finishes in his last four races, he was fifth-fastest (1:20.0677) this morning behind Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:19.4041), Marco Andretti (1:19.9130) and Tony Kanaan (1:19.9361).

Other notables include Mid-Ohio winner Charlie Kimball in seventh (1:20.0869), 2012 Sonoma winner Ryan Briscoe in 11th (1:20.4385), and current IZOD IndyCar Series championship leader Helio Castroneves in 16th (1:20.4385).

Castroneves leads Dixon by 31 points going into today’s race.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
Dan Mullan/Getty Images
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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.