The Finn, a two-time Russian GP winner, produced a best lap of 1m34.427s to finish 0.211s clear of Hamilton in the first 60-minute practice session as Mercedes looks to maintain its unbeaten record in Sochi.

Mercedes has won every single race to be staged at Sochi since the former Winter Olympics venue joined the F1 calendar in 2014, while it is also the circuit where Bottas took both his first and most recent grand prix victory.

Max Verstappen ended up just 0.016s behind his main rival Hamilton as the Red Bull driver wound up third-fastest.

Verstappen holds a five-point advantage over Hamilton in the championship standings but is carrying a three-place grid penalty into the weekend after being penalised for causing the race-ending collision with Hamilton at Monza.

Red Bull is yet to decide whether it will replace the Honda engine in Verstappen’s car in Russia, a move that would trigger an automatic grid penalty for exceeding the permitted power unit allocation for the season.

Charles Leclerc was fourth and over six-tenths off the pace as he debuted Ferrari’s upgraded power unit that will consign the Monegasque driver to a back-of-the-grid start for Sunday’s race.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth-fastest for Aston Martin, ahead of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and Carlos Sainz, who is continuing to run Ferrari’s older-spec engine this weekend.

McLaren’s Lando Norris finished eighth-quickest, while Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso completed the rest of the top ten order for Red Bull and Alpine respectively.

After claiming a shock victory to end McLaren’s near-decade-long winning drought at the Italian Grand Prix last time out, Daniel Ricciardo was only 14th-fastest, behind the likes of Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Fresh from being confirmed as a Haas driver for 2022, home favourite Nikita Mazepin outpaced teammate Mick Schumacher as the rookie pairing once again rounded out the bottom of the timesheets.

Full results from opening practice for the 2021 F1 Russian Grand Prix.