Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg headed the opening free practice session of this weekend’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
As the circuit held a temperature around 27°-28° Celsius, the championship leader’s best lap of 1:19.131 was more than enough to keep him ahead of Silver Arrows teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The field was out in force in the early session, as teams ran their 2014 machines without the current FRIC system, following its ban by FIA stewards. Practice was busy early as teams ran the Pirelli soft compound tyre, which was handed back at the 30-minute mark.
Behind the Mercedes duo was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, albeit three-tenths shy of the top time, while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo ended the practice in 4th. Jenson Button (McLaren) closed out the top five, ahead of Sebastian Vettel who, in 6th place, was the first of the driver’s to not break the 1’20s barrier.
Vettel did head the early portion of the session with a 1:20.295; however as the field emerged for the second half of practice, times began to tumble considerably.
Kimi Raikkonen lost a chunk of the session to a mechanical failure in his Ferrari, as did Susie Wolff, whose Williams FW36 became stuck in 1st gear on her outlap. Fortunately both were able to rejoin the session, with Raikkonen lining up 8th and Wolff impressing in 15th, just two-tenths shy of her teammate Felipe Massa. Wolff did break the pitlane speed limit during the session, early a €1,000 fine.
2014 German Grand Prix (Rd 10, FP1) Pos Driver Team Time 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:19.131 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.196 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:19.423 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:19.697 5. Jenson Button McLaren 1:19.833 6. Sebatian Vettel Red Bull 1:20.097 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:20.105 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.210 9. Daniil Kvyat Tori Rosso 1:20.337 10. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:20.505 11. Felipe Massa Williams 1:20.542 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:20.586 13. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:20.592 14. Sergio Perez Force India 1:20.598 15. Susie Wolff Williams 1:20.769 16. Giedo van der Garde Sauber 1:20.782 17. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:21.603 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:21.854 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:22.572 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:22.982 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:23.256 22. Max Chilton Marussia 1:23.299