Sebastian Vettel says he will work hard to improve his car for the remainder of the Russian Grand Prix weekend, but joined team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in conceding Red Bull is probably set for a tough weekend.

The German ended the first day of F1 action around the new Sochi Autodrom circuit in ninth overall as the second best placed Renault-powered driver - behind local favourite Daniil Kvyat -, 1.8secs adrift of the leading pace.

Indeed, the defending champion - who last week announced he will depart the Red Bull team at the end of the season - is pessimistic about his chances for the remainder of the weekend.

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"We will work hard to try to improve the car and the set-up, and go from there, but it looks like it is going to be a tough weekend."

Team-mate Ricciardo, who was 13th fastest after a power unit failure, echoed Vettel's sentiments following the second session of the day.