Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen set the pace in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, beating Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas by 0.045 at the Sochi Autodrom. Bottas’ team-mate Lewis Hamilton was third, more than half a second off the pace.
After running on soft tyres early on, Räikkönen’s time of 1:36.074 came midway through the session, with the Finn bolting on a set of supersofts to better the earlier efforts of the Mercedes drivers on the same compounds.
Hamilton had made the early running but it was Bottas who best exploited the red-banded rubber for Mercedes. While Hamilton had a ragged session that included a number of off-track moments Bottas steered his W08 to a time of 1:36.119. Hamilton ended the session 0.562 behind his team-mate.
Fourth place on the timesheet went to Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who jumped ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel late in the session with a supersoft time of 1:37.174.
Like Hamilton, Vettel had a scrappy session, with a spin at Turn 16 midway through the 90 minutes being the most lurid of a number of moments where the German explored the outer limits of grip on the smooth and rarely used surface
Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull also struggled for grip, running off track at one point, though the Australian eventually finished sixth ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.
The Mexican ended the session four places and almost six tenths of a second clear of team-mate Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman brought out the red flags, too, when his car’s engine cover became dislodged at Turn 2.
Eighth and ninth places in the session were taken by the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll with the Brazilian edging the Canadian by just over four hundredths of a second.
2017 Russian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.074s – 19
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:36.119s 0.045s 24
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36.681s 0.607s 23
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:37.174s 1.100s 19
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:37.230s 1.156s 19
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:37.290s 1.216s 19
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:37.457s 1.383s 29
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:37.900s 1.826s 29
9 Lance Stroll Williams 1:37.944s 1.870s 30
10 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:38.065s 1.991s 28
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:38.496s 2.422s 17
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:38.747s 2.673s 23
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:38.813s 2.739s 16
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:38.976s 2.902s 17
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:39.158s 3.084s 16
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:39.533s 3.459s 17
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:39.541s 3.467s 19
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:39.731s 3.657s 21
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:40.079s 4.005s 20
20 Sergey Sirotkin Renault – – 2