SOCHI, Russia — Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in Friday’s first practice session for the Russian Grand Prix, with title rival Lewis Hamilton close behind in third.
Vettel was .05 seconds faster than Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. Hamilton was .28 seconds further back in his Mercedes.
Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was fourth-fastest, ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo and Force India driver Esteban Ocon.
Lance Stroll spun out and wrecked a set of tires but avoided the barriers, while Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg ended his session early because of what the team described as “a problem with the car.”
The second practice session is later Friday.