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Summary

  1. Rosberg on Russia pole, Hamilton 2nd, Bottas 3rd
  2. Vettel 4th, Raikkonen 5th, Hulkenberg 6th
  3. Rosberg top in Q1 & Q2
  4. Final practice ended early after heavy crash for Sainz
  5. Driver has since tweeted that he is OK

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    That's all from us after an eventful day where Nico Rosberg took pole position after Carlos Sainz crashed in final practice. Thankfully he is OK and determined to make tomorrow's race, although that is not a decision for him to make.

    I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of F1 Rewind, and we'll be back at 10:30 BST tomorrow for build-up to the race.

    See you then.

  2. Celeb spot!

    Torn over who you want to win Natalie? 

  3. Post update

    Formula 1

    Nico Rosberg has not beaten Lewis Hamilton to pole on many occasions this season, but he's done it twice in a row now. In fact, it is now the third consecutive grand prix where Hamilton has failed to secure pole, with Sebastian Vettel taking it in Singapore.

  4. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Quote Message: Positives were for Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari have to be a bit disappointed. That flash of brilliance in Singapore seems like a distant memory.
  5. Post update

    Quote Message: The lap was OK but not as good as it should have been. Tomorrow's a different day. We should have a good race. from Sebastian Vettel Qualified fourth
    Sebastian VettelQualified fourth
  6. Post update

    BBC

    "Give us a push!"

    Like Formula 1? Like nostalgia? A healthy dose of both can be had right now on BBC Two.

  7. 'Frustrating' for Massa

    A surprise from qualifying was Felipe Massa all the way down in 15th. What happened to the Williams driver?

    "I had two laps behind traffic and by the time I had a clear run my tyres had gone. It's really frustrating," he says.

  8. Post update

    Jenson Button, who qualified 13th: "We got through to Q2 because of the actual speed rather than issues other people had. The last run I couldn't find any grip. 

    "We planned the weekend well so far well but tomorrow will be very difficult for us. It is one of the more difficult circuits for us because of deployment and fuel. We will do our best. This is really testing for us."

  9. 'Nothing I could do'

    Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat after he failed to make Q1: "I did my best. Quite pleased with what I have done. We had time for only one lap on each set of tyres. It's disappointing but nothing I could do."

  10. F1 Rewind

    Formula 1

    Coverage on BBC One has finished but the F1 fun is not over, with Murray Walker celebrating his 92nd birthday by reflecting on some pieces of individual brilliance in F1 Rewind. Tune in on BBC Two, and also watch online via this page. 

  11. Post update

    Bernie Ecclestone

    "Out of my way! Someone's pinched my local traditional costume!"*

    *Possibly not actual quotes

    Bernie Eccelstone
  12. Post update

    Valtteri Bottas, who qualified third: "Third is a good place to start. It has been tricky for everyone with limited practice."

  13. Post update

    We started off this weekend thinking Mercedes might struggle here, considering the circuit shares similar characteristics with Singapore.

    That doesn't look like being the case based on qualifying, the Mercedes were eight tenths of a second faster than third-place Valtteri Bottas.

  14. Post update

    Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton, who qualified second: "I did go for my second lap I just did not finish it. I made a mistake at Turn 13. A difficult weekend for everyone but Nico did a great job with his lap. Overall I am very happy and it is great for the team. This is not such a bad race for P2."

  15. Post update

    Top 3

    Nico Rosberg, who secured pole position: "I am very happy. It has been a difficult weekend because of the little running we got. I got some very good laps in and I am happy with that.

    "I am just enjoying being on pole at the moment. The constructors championship is a really important target for us again this weekend, at the same time I am out to reduce the gap on Lewis."

  16. Get involved #bbcf1

  17. Post update

    Eddie Jordan

    BBC F1 chief analyst

    Quote Message: Nico's demeanour and the way he is operating, I haven't seen him so positive for a long time so don't be surprised if he is very strong tomorrow and pulls off a win.
  18. Post update

    Nico Rosberg

    Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, is stood staring into the middle distance. He looks very focused. This race could be big for him, as he looks to take a bite out of Lewis Hamilton's 48-point lead in the championship.

  19. Post update

    Hamilton looking at Ferrari

    Lewis Hamilton is out prowling round a Ferrari, getting a closer look at the competition.

    He is having a right old look actually, he has been at it for ages.

    Lewis Hamilton
  20. Qualifying result

    11) Kvyat 12) Nasr 13) Button 14) Maldonado 15) Massa 16) Alonso 17) Ericsson 18) Stevens 19) Merhi

    *Carlos Sainz did not take part in qualifying

  21. Qualifying top 10

    1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Bottas 4) Vettel 5) Raikkonen 6) Hulkenberg 7) Perez 8) Grosjean 9) Verstappen 10) Ricciardo

  22. Analysis

    Ben Edwards

    BBC F1 commentator

    Quote Message: Nico Rosberg has taken back-to-back pole positions. He beat Lewis Hamilton in Japan and he has done it again. Hamilton still hasn't got that 50th pole position, it is proving quite elusive for him.
  23. Chequered flag

    Mercedes

    Nico Rosberg secures pole position for the Russian Grand Prix.

  24. Post update

    Time is running out. Any late surprises from Ferrari?

  25. Analysis

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Quote Message: The gap between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg was a bigger gap than we are used to seeing. The sector times tell you all you need to know, Rosberg fastest in each one of them.
  26. Post update

    Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton runs wide on Turn 13 and he is back in the pits, being wheeled into the Mercedes garage. That's it from the reigning world champion. It looks like pole for Nico Rosberg...

  27. Post update

    Toto Wolff

    What did Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda make of those first efforts from their drivers? Hard to judge from their expressions. Focused.

  28. Post update

    Seven minutes in and it is currently: 1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Bottas 4) Vettel 5) Raikkonen 6) Hulkenberg 7) Perez

  29. First blood to Rosberg

    Second time round and Nico Rosberg is straight into P1 with 1:37.113. Can Lewis Hamilton beat him? No. His first quick lap is three tenths slower than Rosberg's.

  30. Post update

    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are clearly of the same mind as Sebastian Vettel with slow first laps, so initially it is Valtteri Bottas who leads the way with 1:37.912.

  31. Post update

    A very modest 1:42.591 from Sebastian Vettel, warming up the tyres. Looks like he will be going for it on lap two.

  32. Post update

    Kimi Raikkonen is immediately out on to the circuit, with his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes and Williams drivers not far behind.

  33. Analysis

    Eddie Jordan

    BBC F1 chief analyst

    Quote Message: When you've done so little mileage in the practice sessions why leave it so late? Each lap is a benefit and it is beyond me. Daniil Kvyat is struggling because he has not been able to get the rhythm going but the car is not great either. Felipe Massa does this too often, is it complacency, bad luck - I don't know.
  34. Final qualifying starts

    Here we go then. The top 10 shoot-out and the Mercedes are looking strong, but who will snatch pole?

  35. Alonso on qualifying and Sainz

    McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, who was out in Q1: "This circuit is quite tricky for us in terms of power effect.

    "The manager text us saying Carlos wants to have dinner with us tonight. we siad fine if he can make it but if not we can do it tomorrow. The main thing is that he is OK." 

  36. Post update

    Carlos Sainz

    Good work from the doctors at the hospital where Carlos Sainz is staying, they have managed to fix him up with a television to watch qualifying.

  37. Analysis

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Quote Message: Daniil Kvyat not making it through is a disappointment to put it mildly. Just looking down the times, McLaren will be pleased as there is a slight improvement.
  38. IN

    1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Bottas 4) Raikkonen 5) Vettel 6) Hulkenberg 7) Grosjean 8) Perez 9) Ricciardo 10) Verstappen

  39. Post update

    A big surprise not to see Felipe Massa through. A victim of the limited practice time?

  40. OUT

    11) Kvyat 12) Nasr 13) Button 14) Maldonado 15) Massa

  41. Second qualifying ends

    Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in the second part of qualifying.

  42. Post update

    ...not good enough. Felipe Massa is out but even more disappointing for the home fans is that Daniil Kvyat hasn't made it!

    Massa
  43. Post update

    Daniel Ricciardo hauls himself safe, can anyone else get through? Felipe MAssa is coming round to complete his lap...

  44. Post update

  45. Post update

  46. Post update

    Into the final two minutes and in trouble are Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Nasr, Jenson Button, Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa.

  47. Analysis

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Quote Message: Interesting strategy from Ferrari to leave it so late. As long as they get into the final stage of qualifying it doesn't matter but you just never know as someone could get oil on to the circuit.
  48. Post update

    Not the perfect lap by any means for Kimi Raikkonen, losing a couple of tenths of a second to his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the first two sectors but he does enough to go fourth fastest with 1:38.702, with Vettel in P3 with a 1:38.402.

  49. Analysis

    Ben Edwards

    BBC F1 commentator

    Quote Message: Red Bull were right up there with Mercedes and Ferrari in Singapore but this is a completely different street circuit - much smoother - and it suits the power engine of Mercedes.
  50. Post update

    Nico Rosberg responds with a 1:37.500 and goes back on top. Meanwhile, at the other end of the timesheet, Pastor Maldonado is in the drop zone, while we are waiting for a first timed lap from both the Williams and Ferraris.

  51. Post update

    After warming up the tyres Lewis Hamilton slaps in a 1:37.672 and he is straight to the top of the timesheet, more than half a second quicker than Nico Rosberg.

  52. Post update

  53. Post update

    Sergio Perez goes fastest for now with 139.486 but here comes Nico Rosberg...and he is now fastest with 1:38.335.

  54. Post update

    Kvyat flag

    Truly magnificent. Always fancied a hoodie with a massive face - in this case Daniil Kvyat's - on it.

  55. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    Quote Message: We are looking at a 1:38.8 to get through to Q3.
  56. Second qualifying starts

    Off we go then for the second part of qualifying and Mercedes have sent their drivers out on the supersoft tyres.

  57. Analysis

    Mercedes advantage

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were the only drivers to complete the first part of qualifying on soft tyres.

    Quote Message: Strategically, that gives them an advantage. They have got extra tyres for the race if they want but information last year is that you only need one stop.
  58. IN

    1) Rosberg 2) Bottas 3) Hamilton 4) Vettel 5) Massa 6) Grosjean 7) Raikkonen 8) Hulkenberg 9) Verstappen 10) Ricciardo

    11) Kvyat 12) Perez 13) Maldonado 14) Button 15) Nasr

  59. OUT

    16) Alonso 17) Ericsson 18) Stevens 19) Merhi 

    *Carlos Sainz did not take part in qualifying

  60. First qualifying ends

    Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in the first part of qualifying.

  61. Post update

    Nope. Fernando Alonso is out and has not made it through to Q2. He does have a 35-place grid penalty to come anyway.

  62. Post update

    Fernando Alonso may be out on the track, be is in danger now, Sergio Perez sneaking out of the drop zone but can Alonso save himself with this lap...?

  63. Post update

  64. Post update

    A smooth lap sees Valtteri Bottas leap up the order and into sixth, pushing Sergio Perez into the drop zone for now.

  65. Post update

    The majority of the field is back out on the track on the supersoft tyres, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the pits.

    In danger at the moment are Marcus Ericsson, Valtteri Bottas, Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens.

  66. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel is up into P3 with a 1:38.598, but that is on the quicker supersoft tyre. Lewis Hamilton's and Nico Rosberg's times were set on the soft compound.

    Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso, taking part in his 250th grand prix weekend, is currently seventh fastest after a 1:40.144. 

    Vettel flat spot
  67. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton sounds a bit surprised by the gap between himself and Nico Rosberg on his first run. He asks: "Did you say a second to Nico?" "Affirm" is the reply.

    Hamilton responds with a 1:38.558, putting him to within two tenths of Rosberg's fastest time.

  68. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel, who didn't get out on the supersoft tyre in final practice, is out on that compound now as the Ferrari heads out for its first run. 

  69. Post update

    Nico Rosberg moves into P1 with a 1:38.556 on his first run, while his team-mate Lewis Hamilton slots in second fastest, a second slower than the other Mercedes.

  70. Post update

    The McLaren pair of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have come out to play and they, like the Saubers and Manors, have gone for supersofts.

  71. Yellow flag

    Pastor Maldonado

    Yellow flags briefly flutter as Pastor Maldonado fails to keep his car on the track. No drama as he gets himself back under way and Max Verstappen kicks things off with a 1:40.529.

  72. Post update

    Just the Saubers and the Manors out on the supersofts, with the rest of the cars on the circuit donning softs.

  73. First qualifying starts

    Quali

    The green light goes on and 18 minutes of the first part of qualifying is under way.

  74. Post update

    Sochi

    Here is the circuit at Sochi in all its glory. You can also check out circuit stats and unusual facts here.

    Formula 1
  75. Post update

  76. Post update

    BBC

    Great to see Carlos Sainz is OK. It was a big crash, which you can see here.

  77. Post update

    Translation: All ok! Nothing to worry about! Already thinking about how to convince doctors to let me run tomorrow

  78. The standings

    leaderboard

    A look at the drivers' standings before qualifying gets under way. Lewis Hamilton has a 48-point lead over Nico Rosberg. He won from pole in last year's race, with Rosberg finishing second.

  79. Post update

  80. Post update

  81. Get involved #bbcf1

  82. Post update

    Russian Grand Prix 2014

    The top-three in final practice last year, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas, qualified in that order in Q3.

    In final practice this morning, the order was Rosberg, Bottas, Hamilton.

  83. Post update

    Eddie Jordan

    BBC F1 chief analyst

    Quote Message: Carlos Sainz is a very lucky man. He had the whole paddock numb for five minutes because it was such a big crash but what is remarkable is that the chassis of the car seems to be in good shape.
  84. Post update

    Confirmation from the FIA that barrier repairs have been completed and qualifying will start, as planned, at 13:00 BST.

  85. Post update

    Quote Message: The great thing is that Bernie Ecclestone says everything is sorted but I am a little in the dark. This is a great team and 850 peoples' futures hinge on this decision. We want to be in Formula 1 and race and I am working hard to find a solution over the coming weeks. from Christian Horner Red Bull team principal
    Christian HornerRed Bull team principal
  86. Post update

  87. Post update

  88. Post update

    And one now from his father. All good news.

  89. Post update

    A tweet from Carlos Sainz's manager, thanking people for their messages and saying he is doing "perfectly"...

  90. Toro Rosso statement

    "Following Carlos Sainz’s accident during FP3 today in Sochi, the driver is perfectly conscious and was able to talk to the extrication team. Once out of the car he was taken to the circuit Medical Centre, where he underwent an initial assessment of his condition.

    "He has now been taken by air ambulance to the Sochi Hospital 4.  

    "Investigations on the reasons for the accident will take place once the car is back in the team’s garage.

    "Further information will be released by the team and the FIA to the media when it is available."

  91. Post update

    Horner
    Quote Message: The information I have is that Carlos Sainz remained conscious throughout. The horrible thing is that he was stuck in the car with the barrier on top of it. An uncomfortable situation to be in. from Christian Horner Red Bull team principal
    Christian HornerRed Bull team principal
  92. Post update

  93. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Quote Message: Red Bull have changed the culture of the paddock and their contribution is beyond your usual Formula 1 team.
  94. The softer side of Mr E

    Bernie and Eddie

    Seeing Bernie Ecclestone give Eddie Jordan a hug and some flowers is not something I expected to see any time soon, but it has just happened on BBC One.

    There was a serious side to the two meeting, with Eddie asking about the latest situation regarding Red Bull, whose future in the sport is uncertain as they try to find an engine supplier for 2016.

    "I think at the moment they are having a good think about what is available," says Ecclestone. "I don't want them to stop. Any of the engine suppliers will be OK for them. Red Bull have been fantastic for F1."

  95. Post update

    Something you could not do when Ayrton Senna was dominating F1, watch him eating peanut butter on toast. 

    Thanks to the social media age we live in these days, you can do just that with Lewis Hamilton...

    Lewis Hamilton
  96. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Formula 1
    Quote Message: Lewis is on the cusp of winning another world championship and thoroughly deserved. He has taken this Mercedes car and driven the wheels off of it.
  97. Hamilton's half century

    Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher

    Lewis Hamilton is bidding to become the third F1 driver in history to reach 50 career pole positions this weekend, after Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.

    Can he achieve it today? Qualifying is sure to be a bit of a lottery after final practice was cut short.

  98. Post update

    Eddie Jordan

    BBC F1 chief analyst

    Quote Message: I think the medical people here and prudence would say make sure Carlos is well first and 100% able to function, then talk about racing.
  99. Post update

    So, understandably, no qualifying for Carlos Sainz, but Franz Tost suggests he could take part in tomorrow's race.

  100. Post update

    Franz Tost

    Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost: "Carlos Sainz has been brought to the hospital. The doctors are looking at him and I am not so much worried that he cannot come back soon.

    "We will prepare the car, not for qualifying for sure, but for the race."

  101. BBC coverage

    BBC One

    BBC

    Qualifying coverage is under way now on BBC One and on this page.

  102. Post update

    Carlos Sainz

    Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost would not say whether Carlos Sainz would be taking part in qualifying but, judging from the condition of his car, it is looking unlikely.

  103. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    “Carlos Sainz’s nasty crash in final practice was a reminder - as if one were needed - of the dangers that can never be fully removed from Formula 1. The extent of Sainz’s injuries is not known, but he gave a thumbs up as he was lifted into an ambulance, which was a good sign. Now, attention will quickly turn to how his car ended up going underneath the Tecpro barriers at Turn 13.

    “Former Jordan and Jaguar technical director Gary Anderson has got in touch to say that this was always a likely danger following the introduction of lower noses. Anderson has long expressed his concerns about cars ‘submarining’ in this way as a result of the new designs - and his big worry is one car rear-ending a stalled car on the grid, the consequences of which, if a car did go under another at speed, do not bear thinking about. However, the FIA put a lot of research into the low noses, which were themselves introduced on safety grounds, mainly to limit the dangers to drivers if one car T-bones another. This design is what the FIA considers is the best current compromise.”

  104. Post update

  105. Post update

    "Of course we would like to run more," added Valtteri Bottas. "It is the same for everyone. 

    "I think we got most out of the car in FP3, I think we will be OK. I like this circuit."  

    Bottas, who holds the lap record at Sochi, was second fastest this morning.

  106. Post update

    After Friday's practice was disrupted by a diesel spillage and rain, and with final practice having been cut short, qualifying today could prove interesting with teams having had very little time to prepare.

  107. Post update

    You can read Andrew Benson's report on final practice here.

  108. Post update

    A reminder of what happened this morning if you have just joined us.

    • Final practice stopped halfway through after Carlos Sainz crash
    • The Toro Rosso driver gave a thumbs up as he was taken away on a stretcher
    • Qualifying, as things stand, will go ahead as normal at 13:00 BST
  109. Post update

    Lee McKenzie has just caught a word with Valtteri Bottas, who says: "I drove just past when the crash had happened. I saw him in the barriers and luckily there was good news and that he is OK and hopefully he can continue this weekend.

    "I have no safety concerns. I think this crash proved the cars are very safe."

  110. Post update

    That's 13:00 BST.

  111. Post update

  112. Post update

  113. Post update

    Formula 1

    There's not too long until our qualifying show gets under way on BBC One, with the programme starting 12:10 BST. You can, as ever, watch online via this page too.

  114. Post update

  115. Post update

    Formula 1
  116. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    crash
    crash

    "From the real time data sent back to the pits that were seeing something like a sudden unloading of a wheel or a part that has failed on the car then it may suggest the closing of the DRS was a little bit later.

    "What happens when you have the wing go back into its normal operating position there is a small period of time before the flow of the air reattaches and generates the correct amount of downforce that the driver would then experience in other braking zones."

  117. Post update

  118. Post update

    At the point the session was stopped, Nico Rosberg was fastest, with Valtteri Bottas second and Lewis Hamilton third, although teams still had around half an hour of work to do.

  119. Post update

  120. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    Quote Message: I have just had a very quick chat with Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko. A mixture of relief and concern. Relief that Carlos Sainz appeared to be OK and concern that the car could go under the tecpro barrier.
  121. Post update

    Quote Message: "As far as I am informed Carlos is conscious. I think that, so far, he is OK. It looks like the car got lost under braking but we must find out why. from Franz Tost Toro Rosso team principal
    Franz TostToro Rosso team principal
  122. Post update

    crash

    We've just seen replays of the crash and it looks like Carlos Sainz lost control of the Toro Rosso heading into Turn 13, he hit the wall side on and it propelled him straight into the barrier directly ahead. 

  123. Post update

  124. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    Quote Message: The FIA confirm the driver is concious, we have seen him taken from the car and we are just waiting to see what happened.
  125. Post update

    Sainz

    Carlos Sainz is strapped into a stretcher but we've just seen images of him giving a thumbs up. Great news.

  126. Post update

  127. Post update

    The rest of the drivers are out of their cars and talking with various members of their teams. Obviously some concern for their colleague as we wait for further news.

  128. Post update

    Message from race control confirms that the session will not be restarted. Ben Edwards states on commentary that does not necessarily mean Carlos Sainz is injured, just that removing him from the crash could take time.

  129. Post update

  130. Post update

    wall

    There were some tyre marks on the circuit before where Carlos Sainz crashed, as well what would appear to be black marks on the wall, perhaps where the Toro Rosso made contact before skidding to where it crashed. 

  131. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "Bad-looking crash for Sainz - head-on at Turn 13, car is buried deeply into the barriers, medical crew in attendance."

  132. Toro Rosso team radio

    Verstappen: "Is he OK, because it looked like big one." "We don't know - we lost power."

  133. Post update

    Car

    The cars head back to the pits as we wait to find out what exactly happened there to Carlos Sainz.

    Max Verstappen asks if his team-mate is OK but Toro Rosso report that there was a loss of power, so they were unable to get on the radio to check.

  134. Red flag

    Red Flg

    Red flag. Carlos Sainz's Toro Rosso is into the barrier. It looks like a big crash.

  135. Post update

    Hamilton

    Like his Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton has been in for a couple of tweaks and swap to the supersofts. 

    He locks up not long after coming back out on the faster compound, before putting down the third fastest time.

  136. Post update

    The fastest driver in final practice, by the way, has gone on to take pole at the last six consecutive races.

  137. Post update

    Nico Rosberg has been in to switch to the supersofts and immediately goes fastest with 1:38.941.

  138. Post update

  139. Post update

  140. Post update

  141. Post update

    Approaching the half-hour mark of an as expected busy session. It is Valtteri Bottas leading the way, ahead of Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

    Out of the leading quartet it is just Vettel on the soft tyres.

  142. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    Quote Message: Both Red Bulls came into the pit lane and both locked up on the slippery surface. Of course , because of the rain yesterday there was not an opportunity for the teams to lay any rubber in their boxes.
  143. Post update

    It is a Williams one-two at the moment, with Valtteri Bottas still leading the way, his best lap three tenths quicker than Felipe Massa's.

    A slightly nervy moment for Bottas, though, as he locks up at the entry to the pit lane, but he keeps it together.

  144. Post update

    Max Verstappen

    An oversteer moment for Max Verstappen coming out of the last corner and he finds himself off the track and pointing the wrong way. He lets a Ferrari pass before righting himself and getting back on his way.

  145. Get involved #bbcf1

    Murray Walker turns 92

  146. Post update

    Ferrari out

    I've just seen a flash of red depart the Ferrari garage. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel have both joined the party after letting others clean up the track.

    Raikkonen has gone out on the supersoft tyre, with Vettel on softs.

  147. Post update

    Valtteri Bottas holds then record for the fastest lap in Sochi, clocking 1:40.896 last year.

    He has improved again with a 1:40.617 to maintain his place at the top of the standings.

  148. Post update

    Nico Rosberg slides wide at the penultimate corner but has the third fastest time at the moment with 1:43.836, putting him behind early pacesetter Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean.

    Rosberg drops down to fourth as Lewis Hamilton gets up and running with a 1:43.384. He is second fastest.

  149. Post update

    Eighteen cars out on the circuit now - just the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen waiting a little longer - Valtteri Bottas is one of several drivers to crack straight on with a timed lap, clocking 1:42.829 to go top of the timesheet. That will change soon enough, you would imagine.

  150. Post update

  151. Post update

    It is a mixed bag of strategies to kick things off 11 drivers heading out on softs and six on supersofts.

    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have both gone out on softs.

  152. Go! Go! Go!

    Red Bull

    One hour of practice is under way and no surprise to see a queue of cars heading out, Daniil Kvyat is at the front of the pack.

  153. Post update

  154. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    Quote Message: After Friday, we effectively have a two-day grand prix. Conditions are ideal now. Lewis Hamilton is already in his car so expect a lot of action coming up.
  155. Post update

    Coverage is now live on BBC Two and on this page. You might need to hit refresh for it to appear.

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  157. Get involved #bbcf1

    Murray Walker

    Lots for us to chat about today, so get involved! Murray Walker turns 92, what's your favourite Murray moment?

    The Russian Grand Prix also marks Fernando Alonso's 250th Grand Prix weekend, what, for you, is the stand out race of his career?

    And finally, Red Bull. What do you make of the situation? Does F1 need them in 2016? 

    Send in your thoughts on any or all of the above to #bbcf1, text in on 81111 (UK only) and post your comment on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

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    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    “The lack of track action on Friday meant conversation was focused on off-track matters, but that would have been the case no matter what, considering the remarkable nature of the behind-the-scenes politics at the moment. 

    "The key focus is Red Bull and their struggles to find an engine supply deal for next season, which is wrapped up in doubts about whether they will even be on the grid in 2016. We wrote an extensive article detailing how Red Bull got into this situation on this website last week. Suffice it to say here that, after heavily criticising current partner Renault all year, and getting almost to the point of inking a deal severing their contract, it now seems Red Bull may have to continue with the French manufacturer after all, having failed to get what they wanted out of either Mercedes or Ferrari

    “Daniel Ricciardo described this on Friday as ‘one of our better options for now’. However, Renault Sport boss Cyril Abiteboul said: ‘Frankly when you see the way we have been treated, it's going to be a very difficult sell to my board and to my executive management to do something else to what is currently planned.’ 

    “You just couldn’t make it up.”

  160. Post update

    Murray Walker

    You can catch Murray Walker and Suzi Perry on F1 Rewind today on BBC Two at 14:30 BST.

  161. Happy birthday Murray!

    Murray Walker

    Happy birthday to legendary commentator Murray Walker, who is 92 today.

    Amazing to think that his first race commentary pre-dates the F1 world championship itself, having commentated on the 1949 British Grand Prix.

    Legend.

  162. Fantastic Fernando

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Fernando Alonso

    "There are better ways to celebrate a major career milestone than McLaren and Honda have provided for Fernando Alonso this weekend. It is the Spaniard’s 250th race meeting of an illustrious F1 career - although it will only be his 248th or 249th grand prix. He did not take the start of the 2005 US Grand Prix and the question mark about counting surrounds the 2001 Belgian race, from which he retired before a major crash involving Luciano Burti led to a restart which was classified as a new race. Technically, therefore, he did not take part, according to the FIA’s system, although clearly he did. (Technically, incidentally, Niki Lauda also did not take part for the same reasons in the 1976 German Grand Prix, in which he suffered his fiery crash. But, as Lauda himself puts it: ‘What happened to my ear, then.’)

    “Anyway, statistical anomalies aside, while McLaren provided the whole team with celebratory samurai-themed Alonso head bands for a photocall on Friday morning, and staged an event on Friday evening which most drivers and senior figures attended, Alonso has been ill-served by Honda, as has been the case all year. 

    “Fitting a new, upgraded engine, which was then taken out and replaced by an old one after first practice, means a grand total of 35 grid places as a penalty. Alonso will start this major landmark event from the back, with little prospect of progress, despite some superb laps in the wet on Friday which BBC F1 commentator Ben Edwards described as ‘heroic’, adding: ‘This is one of the few times Alonso has a chance to remind everyone just how good he is.’”

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  165. Post update

    The rain fell yesterday but a dry weekend is in prospect, which means final practice should be jam-packed with action as teams look to get themselves set up for both qualifying and the race.

    How are the skies above Sochi looking today?

  166. Post update

    Coverage of final practice is live on BBC Two and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, with both getting under way at 09:55 BST.

    You can also watch and listen online via this very page.

  167. Post update

    Anyway, time to move on! It is Saturday and that, of course, means qualifying day for the Russian Grand Prix.

    First up, final practice. That gets under way at 10:00 BST and lasts for one hour, with qualifying taking place at 13:00 BST.

  168. Post update

    How bad was Friday? We were getting tweets from teams of pictures of bats. That's how bad.

  169. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    Oil

    “Friday in Russia has to go down as the least eventful day’s action this season - and quite a few other seasons as well, for that matter. 

    "A diesel spillage on track overnight, courtesy of an inappropriately named cleaner truck, and then rain in the second session meant running was at a minimum, and lessons learned were even less. 

    "But, as in Suzuka two weeks ago, every cloud has a silver lining, and it means that Saturday morning’s final practice session will be jam-packed with action as teams try to make up lost time. 

    "Nico Rosberg predicted after practice that Ferrari would be ‘close’ to Mercedes on this track. We’re about to get an idea out whether the battle for pole will be between two or three drivers.”

  170. Boooorrrrrrinnggggg

    Nico Rosberg found it boring...

    Nico Rosberg

    ...Felipe Massa fell asleep....

    Formula 1

    ...file Friday under forgettable in Sochi because it was a day of very, very, very little action.

    The upshot? Things should be a lot more interesting today...