Sochi FP1: Raikkonen and Bottas set the early pace

Kimi Raikkonen

It was a one-two for Finland’s finest racing drivers as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen topped the timing screens at the end of the first free practice session of the Russian Grand Prix weekend, at Sochi Autodrom, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas posting the second best time.

A mere four hundredth of a second separated the duo on the timing sheets, with Raikkonen’s best time of 1:36.074 a tad quicker than his countryman’s best.

Lewis Hamilton was over half a second down on his teammate with the third best time of the 90 minutes morning session, while world championship leader Sebastian Vettel could only manage the fifth best time. The German spun without incident during the session in which he ended 1.1 seconds down on his Ferrari teammate.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen split the two championship leaders with the fourth best time, with teammate Daniel Ricciardo in sixth as the big three teams dominated the session.

Sergio Perez 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.

Renault test driver Sergei Sirotkin was given a rare run in place of Nico Hulkenberg, but the car broke down before he could set a time.

Russian Grand Prix, Sochi Autodrom, Free Practice 1, Best Lap Times

1 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:36.074   19
2 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:36.119 +0.045s 24
3 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:36.681 +0.607s 23
4 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:37.174 +1.100s 19
5 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:37.230 +1.156s 19
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:37.290 +1.216s 19
7 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:37.457 +1.383s 29
8 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:37.900 +1.826s 29
9 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:37.944 +1.870s 30
10 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:38.065 +1.991s 28
11 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 1:38.496 +2.422s 17
12 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:38.747 +2.673s 23
13 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:38.813 +2.739s 16
14 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:38.976 +2.902s 17
15 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:39.158 +3.084s 16
16 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:39.533 +3.459s 17
17 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:39.541 +3.467s 19
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 1:39.731 +3.657s 21
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:40.079 +4.005s 20
20 46 Sergey Sirotkin RENAULT     2