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Russian GP F1 practice: Vettel fastest from Verstappen in FP1

Sebastian Vettel Ferrari F1 2018

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.

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

1Sebastian VettelFerrari1m34.488s-19
2Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault1m34.538s0.050s22
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m34.818s0.330s23
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1m34.999s0.511s28
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m35.524s1.036s11
6Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes1m35.663s1.175s24
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m35.696s1.208s19
8Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari1m36.196s1.708s21
9Nico HulkenbergRenault1m36.274s1.786s18
10Antonio GiovinazziSauber/Ferrari1m36.712s2.224s22
11Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m36.816s2.328s23
12Pierre GaslyToro Rosso/Honda1m36.944s2.456s25
13Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault1m37.022s2.534s25
14Charles LeclercSauber/Ferrari1m37.054s2.566s24
15Artem MarkelovRenault1m37.183s2.695s22
16Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Renault1m37.187s2.699s27
17Nicholas LatifiForce India/Mercedes1m37.206s2.718s24
18Sergey SirotkinWilliams/Mercedes1m37.225s2.737s25
19Brendon HartleyToro Rosso/Honda1m37.944s3.456s28
20Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes1m39.137s4.649s13

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