Charles Leclerc and Ferrari continue their strong showings by topping the first free practice session at Sochi, Russia. Max Verstappen ended up second fastest for Red Bull as Singapore Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel completed the top three.
Leclerc, who vows to put more trust in the team's decisions after a dispute on the team radio, set the fastest time, less than a tenth quicker than Verstappen, but more than half a second up on his team mate Vettel. All three set their best times on the softest Pirelli tyre available this weekend.
Mercedes duo Bottas and Hamilton ended up in 4th and 5th as they chose for longer runs on the medium compound tyres. Bottas's session did however end prematurely, shorly before the scheduled end, as his Mercedes W10 suffered an unusual rear wing failure.
Albon ended FP1 in 6th, ahead of both Renaults who aim to lead the midfield. Hulkenberg was fastest, as he had been in Singapore. Daniel Ricciado ended 6 tenths down, but failed to do a quick lap late in the session as he rear his car into the barriers at Turn 5. Damage appeared relatively minor, so he was able to drive his car back to the pits without much further ado.
Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean were 9th and 10th respectively, unusually keeping McLaren out of the top 10. The orange cars did however not focus on quick laps, with Sainz completing a long stint on mediums, and Norris focusing on the hard tyre.
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:34.544||+0.082s||25|
|4||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:35.198||+0.736s||28|
|5||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:35.411||+0.949s||22|
|6||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:35.484||+1.022s||22|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:36.321||+1.859s||27|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:36.516||+2.054s||23|
|11||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:36.523||+2.061s||28|
|12||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:36.538||+2.076s||25|
|13||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:36.596||+2.134s||21|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:36.714||+2.252s||26|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:36.770||+2.308s||22|
|16||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:36.844||+2.382s||30|
|17||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:37.328||+2.866s||18|
|18||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:38.520||+4.058s||27|
|19||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:38.550||+4.088s||5|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:38.670||+4.208s||29|