Max Verstappen expects a difficult race at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Due to a grid penalty due to an engine change, the Dutchman has to start at the back at the Sochi Autodrom.

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"We have considered all options and we think it is best to pay the grid penalty here," Verstappen said Friday after the second free practice at

Sky Sports

.

In 2018, Verstappen also started at the back in Sochi due to an engine change and then he managed to finish fifth.

Verstappen does not assume that he can drive forward on Sunday as easily as three years ago.

"The midfield is now a lot closer to the head than it was then," continued the seventeen-time Grand Prix winner.

"We also have to wait and see what the weather does. It's no different. If we hadn't changed the engine this weekend, we would have had to do it somewhere later in the season. We're going to make the best of it."

Verstappen concluded Friday in Sochi with a sixth time in the second free practice.

Valtteri Bottas was fastest and his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton finished second.

In principle, the third free practice session is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m., but that session may be postponed due to expected heavy rainfall.

The qualification may also be rescheduled.

See also: Bottas also fastest in Sochi second training, Verstappen sixth time

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