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F1 2016: Russian GP Free Practice 1 Report – Rosberg On Top

A day in the life of F1 driver Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg set the fastest time for Mercedes in the first free practice session for the 2016 Russian grand prix.

All eyes focused on Red Bull Racing as it trialed the aeroscreen for the first time. The aeroscreen is Red Bull’s offering for head protection to be introduced in 2017. The aeroscreen was run for only one installation lap as team principal admitted that it has a “huge impact” on the car’s cooling.

The two Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set the early pace in the session. With Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas rounding out the top four early on. Williams teammate Felipe Massa was unable to set a time due to a gearbox issue. The Brazilian did make his way out for an install lap in the second half of the session. Mass eventually ended the session with the fifth quickest time.

Nico Rosberg set the quickest time overall, a 1:38:127 followed by teammate Lewis Hamilton on a 1:38:849. Both drivers used the red-walled supersoft tyre to set their fastest times.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel set the third quickest time, a 1:39:175 ahead of the sister Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen who set a 1:39:332. The Ferrari’s quickest times were set on the yellow-walled soft tyre.

Mexican driver Alfonso Celis took control of Nico Huldenberg’s Force India for the practice session. Elsewhere Sergey Sirotkin ran the first free practice session for Renault in place on Kevin Magnussen.

Final Standings for Free Practice 1:

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About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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