Rosberg Fastest In Opening German Practice

Nico Rosberg was the quickest man in the opening practice session ahead of the German Grand Prix at the Hocekenheimring. Returning to the track for the first time since 2012 due to the track’s co-hosting of the German round with the Nurburgring, F1 drivers had to adapt both the 2014 spec cars and the sudden loss of the FRIC (Front-Rear Interconnected) system which was banned this weekend. The loss of FRIC was expected to make the cars harder to drive and thus lead to an excess of off-track excursion.

Indeed, it seemed drivers had a hard time keeping their cars within the white lines – particularly at the first and last corner – something which could see a driver having a lap time deleted during Qualifying. This morning’s quickest man, Rosberg, was one of the many drivers exceeding the track limits, slipping straight off track at turn 2 when he out-braked himself halfway through the session. Felipe Massa was another man who became familiar with the extremities of the track, going aggressively wide at turn 1, while Kevin Magnussen played chicken with the gravel trap at turn 11.

Realistically though, the off-track trips were more due to an unfamiliarity with the track rather than a sudden mechanical drop-off in performance caused by the loss of the much talked about FRIC system.

The two Mercedes men, for example, were expected to be reeled in somewhat, but the duo ended the session firmly in front, over two-tenths ahead of Fernando Alonso who himself lead from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Jenson Button was fifth for McLaren as he aims to repeat his impressive performance from the British Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel and Kevin Magnussen was behind him, followed by Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari, Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso and Adrian Sutil, whose position at Sauber looks to be increasingly unstable as talk has surfaced that he could be replaced by Giedo van der Garde presently.

Van der Garde was driving in place of Gutierrez in the other car today and ended the session sixteenth for the Swiss outfit, while Susie Wolff also got a run in FP1. Following her disappointingly short running at Silverstone due to a mechanical issue, she was keen to get some good laps under her belt today – but her gearbox thought otherwise and stopped up shifting about thirty seconds into her installation lap. The team managed to recover the session and get her back out on track, where she eventually went within two-tenths of her team-mate, Felipe Massa.

Free Practice One:

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Fernando Alonso
  4. Daniel Ricciardo
  5. Jenson Button
  6. Sebastian Vettel
  7. Kevin Magnussen
  8. Kimi Raikkonen
  9. Daniil Kvyat
  10. Adrian Sutil
  11. Felipe Massa
  12. Jean-Eric Vergne
  13. Nico Hulkenberg
  14. Sergio Perez
  15. Susie Wolff
  16. Giedo van der Garde
  17. Romain Grosjean
  18. Pastor Maldonado
  19. Kamui Kobayashi
  20. Jules Bianchi
  21. Marcus Ericsson
  22. Max Chilton

Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG F1 Team. 



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Filed under F1, Free Practice Report

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