It was a positive start for the Australian and his Red Bull team that saw him complete 102 laps.

Any potential challengers to Ricciardo were thwarted by a late rain shower.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen were next fastest.

McLaren ran well in its first hitout with Renault power despite Fernando Alonso’s car shedding a wheel at one point. The newly Honda-powered Toro Rosso completed its opening day without drama, with Brendon Hartley eighth fastest.