Kvyat escapes spin to qualify P9 on Monaco debut

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Daniil Kvyat has qualified in an excellent ninth place for the Monaco Grand Prix today, but it all very nearly ended in tears when a spin in Q1 threatened to end his day early.

Kvyat, who is racing at Monaco for the very first time this weekend, spun on the exit of the tunnel. Somehow, he kept it out of the barriers, and only made light contact with his front wing. He was able to get back to the pits for repairs, and eventually set a time that was good enough to get him through to Q2.

In the second session, both Kvyat and teammate Jean-Eric Vergne managed to finish inside the top ten ahead of some big names, and duly held their own in the final part of qualifying.

Vergne, whose career appears to be at a crossroads after missing out on the Red Bull seat last year, qualified seventh behind Kimi Raikkonen and ahead of Kevin Magnussen, whilst Kvyat managed to finish ninth in the final session ahead of Sergio Perez.

However, given that this was the first time he has raced at Monaco, it was a remarkable display. He finished ahead of established drivers such as Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa, and will be hoping to score some points tomorrow.

Kvyat is under investigation for blocking Maldonado during qualifying, but the Russian was unaware of any indiscretion on track. For now though, he will be celebrating a fine result that so nearly wasn’t to be.

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.