Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two at practice - Russian Grand Prix

F1 heads into this weekend's Sochi event with Vettel, victor of two of the opening three races, seven points ahead of Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship, while Ferrari are three clear of Mercedes in the constructors' standings. Vettel clocked the fastest time and Raikkonen was second. Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth.

Vettel said: "It's a circuit that suits them so they will be strong tomorrow".

"I think the way we've raced in the last two and a half years, everything straightforward, sometimes it was close, sometimes was too close as well.", he said, rejecting the notion of Ferrari team orders.

"That's how sometimes you can be misled".

"If I have some issues in this race, for whatever reason - we are on different strategies or Lewis is stuck behind me, or something - if the team tells me to move over, I will", he said.

The next best vehicle was a huge 1.4s off Vettel, with Max Verstappen taking best-of-the-rest honours for Red Bull. Felipe Massa continued to show good pace for Williams by slotting into sixth, while Nico Hulkenberg turned in a very impressive seventh position, continuing to demonstrate the one-lap pace of the Renault challenger.

Vettel and Raikkonen were second and third for Ferrari behind Bottas and Hamilton while a late accident saw two cars-Briton Jolyon Palmer's Renault and German Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber-go off and into the tyre barriers.

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"Our approach is the team need to win so we have to try to work as a team but only in special circumstances", Hamilton said.

Hamilton was three-hundredths of a second slower than Bottas, which led Vettel to suggest Mercedes was holding back, something Hamilton has refuted.

"I think Kimi has been very quick this weekend and he obviously only just missed out on pole". "I knew it would be tight and I knew I would be first across the line".

The three-time world champion trails Vettel by seven points in the drivers' championship after the first three rounds of the season.

"Going into this weekend, we were thinking it's probably going to be better than Bahrain", Bottas said. But where the Ferraris could seemingly set times at will, it was soon clear that the Mercedes were struggling.

"I lost position at the start, exclusively my fault", added Hamilton.

The gap between the pair was just 0.059s at the end of qualifying, meaning Raikkonen could have taken pole with even a slender improvement had the tyres been as good as they were on the first run.

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