Rosberg leads Hamilton in first Russia practice

By on Friday, April 29, 2016
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Championship leader Nico Rosberg continued his impressive start to the 2016 season by topping the opening practice session for the Russian Grand Prix.

Rosberg clocked a time of 1:38.127 to finish 0.722s clear of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Sochi Autodrom.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel moved up to third during the closing stages of the session, having earlier spun twice in the final sector in quick succession.

Kimi Räikkönen was fourth for Ferrari after negotiating some early DRS issues, while Felipe Massa was fifth despite spending significant time in the garage due to clutch problems.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo completed an installation lap with the aeroscreen protection device fitted to his RB12.

Ricciardo returned to the garage for the device to be removed from his car and duly went sixth quickest.

Valtteri Bottas was seventh for Williams, ahead of Daniil Kvyat, who spun at the penultimate corner, Force India’s Sergio Pérez and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr.

McLaren finished narrowly outside of the top 10 with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso 11th and 12th.

Sergey Sirotkin received his first run out for Renault and clocked the 13th best time to finish 0.8s clear of Jolyon Palmer, who was 18th, the Briton spinning at the end of the sesson.

Sauber’s Felipe Nasr used his new chassis to effect by going 14th, ahead of Max Verstappen and Haas pair Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean.

Marcus Ericsson was 19th, with Manor pair Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto in 20th and 21st after some issues during the session.

Manor had to change the floor on Wehrlein's car while Haryanto was able to complete only a handful of laps due to a mechanical problem.

Force India development driver Alfonso Celis Jr. finished in 22nd position, over three seconds adrift of team-mate Pérez.

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