Vettel is up there with Schumacher and Senna, says Massa

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Felipe Massa paid Sebastian Vettel one of the highest compliments he could by comparing the four-times world champion with a fellow Brazilian and a former team mate of his.

“I want to congratulate Sebastian, who deserves everything he has achieved so far,” said Massa after Vettel’s title-winning drive in the Indian Grand Prix.

“I am really happy for him, because he is a great driver and a very nice guy.”

“From today, his name will sit alongside the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, such as [Ayrton] Senna, [Michael] Schumacher and few others.”

Vettel has won ten of the sixteen races so far this year. More of his rivals added their praise following his latest triumph.

“Massive congratulations to Seb on becoming four-time world champion,” said Lewis Hamilton. “That’s an awesome achievement and he’s put in some incredible performances this season. I really hope we get to take the fight to him next year.”

Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg added Vettel’s title was “well deserved”.

Jenson Button, the last driver to win the world championship before Vettel, added his “big congratulations to Sebastian”.

“He’s shown over the past few years that he’s a truly great champion. He’s had a great season, what he’s achieved is incredible.”

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.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

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.