Sochi, April 29 (IANS) Formula One World championship leader Nico Rosberg set the pace in Friday’s opening practice for the Russian Grand Prix race, finishing three-quarters of a second up on Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is a further three-tenths back in third. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest, followed by team Williams’ Felipe Massa, who recovered from a clutch problem early in the 90 minutes.
Hamilton had set the initial pace with 1 minute 39.377 seconds before Rosberg eased ahead with 1m 39.097s; Hamilton finished with a timing of 1m 39.307s.
The sixth spot went to team Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Valtteri Bottas came in seventh in the second Williams car.
Local hero Daniil Kvyat took eighth for team Red Bull, with Force India’s Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz completing the top ten.
Perez was ninth, just ahead of Sainz.
Force India’s second driver, Alfonso Celis, finished the race at the last position, at the 22nd spot.