F1 Backmarker George Russell Tops First Practice For Mercedes
George Russell topped the first practice timesheets at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Russell is substituting for Lewis Hamilton who is out after testing positive for Covid-19 in the lead up to the GP weekend. Russell was parachuted in at the last moment and made perfect use of the most dominant F1 car of the season. The British youngster look accomplished and unflustered. Teammate Valtteri Bottas faced a different pressure from not having Hamilton on the other side of the Mercedes garage. It appeared Bottas hit a mental barrier and began to overdrive after Russell set a series of benchmark times.
Max Verstappen finished second with Alex Albon third and Bottas 4th. While the times are close one must remember that this is first practice and Mercedes usually gets faster over the course of the weekend. A number of rookie drivers made their debut, Jack Aitken and Pietro Fittipaldi also made rookie mistakes and not unsurprisingly finished at the back of the grid.
Saturday is where the real pressure begins, for now Bottas needs to unlock his mental game rather than locking his tires which he did consistently during FP1.
2020 Sakhir Grand Prix: First Practice Results
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