First free practice at the British Grand Prix topped by Nico Rosberg

For the opening session of the British Grand Prix weekend, which marks the 50th Grand Prix to be held at Silverstone, it was Nico Rosberg setting the early pace ahead of home favourite Lewis Hamilton.

For the opening session to the Silverstone weekend, we had Susie Wolff running for Williams. This makes her the first women to officially participate in a formula one weekend session since Giovanna Amati back in 1992. Susie took the place of Valtteri Bottas for Williams in FP1, along with Robin Frijns replacing Kamui Kobayashi for Caterham, Giedo van der Garde replacing Adrian Sutil for Sauber and Daniel Juncadella replacing Nico Hulkenberg at Force India for FP1.

But the first driver to hit the track at the beginning of the session was the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, who appeared to struggle from the off as he fought to control his car on the exit of Luffield. As for McLaren’s other driver, Jenson Button, for this weekend’s race he will be wearing a special pink helmet in honour of his father who passed away before the season started.

As other drivers filtered out on track for their installation laps, home favourite Lewis Hamilton was suffering a steering issue. Claiming that it was not straight, with it more towards the right hand side. Luckily for Lewis, the team can fix this sort of issue to get him running again in the session, but for Maldonado in the problematic Lotus, after 15 minuets of the session he was told to stop his car at the exit of the pit lane.

For the early lap times, Susie Wolff was leading the session ahead of Ericsson and Kvyat, but as the laps began pilling up from drivers up and down the field her time soon fell off the pace. Unfortunately for her, this would soon be the least of her worries, as on the exit of the Vale chicane she was forced into stopping her car. It soon came over the team radio that her Williams had lost oil pressure and she was forced to stop the car.

Another driver participating in FP1, Robin Frijns, was also experiencing issues with his car. Caterham were forced to remove the floor if his car for a closer inspection. It was later revealed by the Caterham team that there was an electrical issue, causing a misfire in the power unit of Frijns’ car.

For a test driver, there is minimal running available for them with a F1 car, so they need to make the best of any chance handed to them. But when your running is limited due to a car issue, it must be very irritating for the driver.

But as the end of the first half hour approached, it was the red flag being brought out, thanks to the other Williams, driven by Massa. Felipe was going into Stowe, without even appearing to be pushing very hard. But he fought to regain control of his car, but it forced him to take the run off on the outside of Stowe, resulting in a spin as the car snapped to the right. Massa ended up colliding with the barrier and taking severe damage to the front and rear of his Williams.

The team had already had one car prematurely retire from the session when Susie Wolff was forced to pull off track. But the red flag meant her car could be collected by a flat-bed lorry and potentially get back out on track depending on the time it takes the team to repair the car.

Whilst no cars were out on track, the time sheets showed Nico Rosberg leading with a 1:36:058, a lead of eight tenths of a second from Fernando Alonso. As it stood, Lewis Hamilton was down in ninth place after his best time so far was just 1:38:697.

Eventually the session got back underway at 10:43, with 47 minuets of running remaining, and Kvyat the first to return to the Silverstone track.

Another driver forced into an early retirement was the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson. His retirement came after he left the track at Becketts and beached his car on the apex. There didn’t appear to be any damage to his car but as it was at a high-speed and dangerous part of the track, it would have been unsafe to push him back on.

In a season of unreliability, Red Bull were next to be the team suffering at Silverstone with Daniel Ricciardo claiming “something funny is going on” in his car before he slowly dragged his RB10 back to the pits. This didn’t turn out to be a terminal issue and he returned to the track for the final 5 minuets of running.

Jumping back a few minuets, Caterham had been able to send Frijns back out on track. With Ericsson retired from the session, this final few laps by Frijns could be very helpful for the team going into FP2 later today.

For the lap times, Rosberg finished the session in first place with a 1:35:424. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton took second place, but his personal best lap time was only good enough to finish 7 tenths of a second back to Nico, with Fernando Alonso just 2 tenths back from him.

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.424 25
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36.155 0.731 22
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:36.263 0.839 23
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:36.623 1.199 21
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.703 1.279 23
6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:36.921 1.497 20
7 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.963 1.539 25
8 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:37.175 1.751 29
9 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:37.227 1.803 25
10 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:37.231 1.807 30
11 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:37.720 2.296 22
12 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:37.910 2.486 21
13 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.056 2.632 18
14 34 Daniel Juncadella Force India-Mercedes 1:38.083 2.659 23
15 36 Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.328 2.904 19
16 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:38.917 3.493 12
17 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:39.461 4.037 7
18 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:39.814 4.390 24
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:40.597 5.173 19
20 46 Robin Frijns Caterham-Renault 1:42.261 6.837 11
21 41 Susie Wolff Williams-Mercedes 1:44.212 8.788 4
22 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No time 2

2 thoughts on “First free practice at the British Grand Prix topped by Nico Rosberg

  1. Pingback: Second Free Practice for the British Grand Prix topped by home favourite, Lewis Hamilton | Kyle Archer

  2. Pingback: Sebastian Vettel topped third free practice for the British Grand Prix | Kyle Archer

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