World Champioship leader Nico Rosberg comfortably set the pace in the first practice session at Sochi, in preperation for the Russian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was second fastest, nearly 3 quarters of a second slower than his team mate.
All eyes however were on Red Bull, as they ran a prototype version of their windscreen, an alternative design to the halo tested by Ferrari earlier in an attempt to improve driver safety as of 2017. The proposed windscreen lacks a central pillar ahead of the driver's helmet, offering advantages for driver visibility. Questions arose however on how oil or rain may reduce visibility with Red Bull's proposal.
Running proceeded as usual for the other teams though, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen ending up 3rd and 4th fastest. The scarlet cars however did not fit the super soft tyres yet, and instead set their fastest times on the softs.
Felipe Massa went 5th fastest after sitting out the first half of the session while Williams were fixing a clutch issue on his car. Red Bull's Ricciardo slotted in just behind after the team removed the windscreen and reverted the car to its race specification.
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:39.650||+1.523s||24|
|8||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing||1:40.218||+2.091s||26|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:40.287||+2.160s||22|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:40.654||+2.527s||21|
|15||33||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:41.134||+3.007s||22|
|22||34||Alfonso Celis||Force India||1:43.432||+5.305s||23|