Valtteri Bottas felt it was a positive day at the Sochi Autodrom despite seeing Scuderia Ferrari set the pace in both free practice sessions on Friday.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer finished second best to Kimi Raikkonen in first practice, while he was third in second session as Sebastian Vettel hit the front ahead of Raikkonen, but Bottas was faster in both sessions than team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas admits Mercedes are lacking some pace on the Ultrasoft Pirelli tyre in Russia, but expects the team to work overnight to get that working.
“It’s been an interesting day,” admitted Bottas. “It’s a very different situation here with the asphalt and the temperatures compared to what we experienced in Bahrain.
“We were learning about the tyres on long runs and short runs and it seems like over one lap we still have work to do to get the maximum out of the Ultrasoft tyre – that’s our focus tonight.
“But we can’t forget how important the race is. We have started the weekend in the right way. The car feels good and the balance is there. A good start but we definitely need to work hard to find some lap time for qualifying.”