Russian GP F1 practice: Vettel fastest from Verstappen in FP1

Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the opening practice session for Formula 1's Russian Grand Prix on Friday morning, ahead of Max Verstappen's Red Bull

Russian GP F1 practice: Vettel fastest from Verstappen in FP1

The margin at the top of the timesheets between the two was just 0.050 seconds, both times being set on the hypersoft tyre.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was third quickest, 0.3s down on championship rival Vettel but like his team-mate Valtteri Bottas (who was fourth fastest) he set his best time running on the soft tyre.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth overall, but had to sit out most of practice after he came into the pits early with smoke billowing from the rear of his Red Bull. His mechanics took the floor off his car to investigate the problem, having planned to make a floor change at that point anyway.

Ricciardo will face a grid penalty for Sunday's race for power unit changes, along with his team-mate Verstappen and three other drivers: Toro Rosso duo Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley and also Fernando Alonso (McLaren).

Friday morning's first practice session at Sochi took place in warm and overcast conditions without any major incident. There was spin by Williams's Lance Stroll half an hour before the end of the session, while early on Lando Norris also looped his McLaren around at Turn 4.

Norris was one of four driver changes for the opening session of the weekend, taking over Alonso's seat, while local driver Artem Markelov was in for Carlos Sainz Jr at Renault.

Sauber's new signing for 2019, Antonio Giovinazzi stepped in for Marcus Ericssson while Nicholas Latifi replaced Sergio Perez at Force India for the 90-minute session.

Esteban Ocon was sixth fastest for Force India ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari - who set his best time on ultrasofts - and Kevin Magnussen's Haas.

Nico Hulkenberg was ninth in the timesheets but was forced to pit before the end of the session with an issue with his Renault.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m34.488s - 19
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m34.538s 0.050s 22
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.818s 0.330s 23
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m34.999s 0.511s 28
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.524s 1.036s 11
6 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m35.663s 1.175s 24
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m35.696s 1.208s 19
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m36.196s 1.708s 21
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m36.274s 1.786s 18
10 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber/Ferrari 1m36.712s 2.224s 22
11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m36.816s 2.328s 23
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m36.944s 2.456s 25
13 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m37.022s 2.534s 25
14 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m37.054s 2.566s 24
15 Artem Markelov Renault 1m37.183s 2.695s 22
16 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m37.187s 2.699s 27
17 Nicholas Latifi Force India/Mercedes 1m37.206s 2.718s 24
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m37.225s 2.737s 25
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m37.944s 3.456s 28
20 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m39.137s 4.649s 13

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