First free practice for the German Grand Prix topped by the German, Nico Rosberg

The opening session of the German Grand Prix weekend was topped by Nico Rosberg. After setting a 1:19:131, he beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the top spot by just six hundredths of a second, in the heat at Hockenheim.

Following the fall out from the FIA regarding the FRIC suspension system that teams have been running this season, no teams opted to run the system in the opening free practice session. The FIA had issued a directive in the run up to this weekend, stating that some of the suspension systems being used this year could contravene the rules related to moveable aerodynamic devices. As this was a directive, the teams could still have run the system this weekend. But doing so would have risked a disqualification coming their way.

In addition, going into FP1 there were a few other changes in the garages with Susie Wolff returning for her second free practice session in Formula One, replacing Valtteri Bottas for the session. As well as Giedo van der Garde replacing Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber.

Come the green light for FP1 at the Hockenheimring, the ambient temperature was at 25 degrees Celsius. Along with the track being 10 degrees Celsius higher, at 35. Which rose higher throughout the session. With Pirelli providing the supersoft and soft compound tyres, the higher temperature would obviously heat them up much quicker and require less laps to generate the necessary tyre temperature.

The first car of the weekend to hit the Hockenheimring track was the Williams with Susie Wolff at the wheel. However, her early running was brought to an abrupt end on the installation lap. Causing her to crawl her way back to the pits. Luckily for her, the team were able to find the cause of the issue soon enough and she was able to continue with her planned run as normal.

In the opening half hour of the session, Susie wasn’t the only driver to have unreliability issues. For Kimi Raikkonen, he was back in the garage after being informed there was a water pump problem onboard his Ferrari. This issue took the Ferrari mechanics a while to fix but when he eventually returned to the track he immediately set the fastest middle sector of the session.

Kimi’s first timed lap after his water pump issue was resolved saw the Finn to temporarily rise as high as fourth place. But a few quick laps by the Red Bull’s, Mercedes’, and Jenson Button saw the top order mix up ahead of the final half an hour. Up to this point Lewis was very far down the pecking order for FP1. But in his earlier laps it didn’t appear he was pushing to be the fastest and on some occasions found himself using the run off areas.

For the Sauber reserve driver, Giedo van der Garde, he was providing the team with good detailed performance reviews. Whilst running out on track he informed the team there was a lot of oversteer coming from the Sauber, information that could help the team across the weekend. Especially their race driver Esteban Gutierrez, who Giedo had replaced for the session.

Turn one proved to be an issue for many drivers throughout the session as they pushed hard to find the limit. But for those drivers that went beyond, they were going over the run off area. With track limits being a key point from the previous two races in Austria and Britain, drivers may want to find the limit sooner rather than later to avoid crossing it in qualifying.

Come the chequered flag it was the usual scene with the Mercedes duo securing a one-two finish. This time with Nico Rosberg finishing the session on top, even if the two drivers were separated by just six hundredths of a second. Behind them came Fernando Alonso as the closest challenger to the Mercedes before the times began to spread out a little more.

For Susie Wolff in her second free practice session for Williams this year, she was able to finish the session down in 15th place with a 1:20:769, just two tenths behind her experienced team-mate, Felipe Massa.

Pos

No

Driver

Team

Time/Retired

Gap

Laps

1

6

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

1:19.131

29

2

44

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1:19.196

0.065

25

3

14

Fernando Alonso

Ferrari

1:19.423

0.292

21

4

3

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull Racing-Renault

1:19.697

0.566

27

5

22

Jenson Button

McLaren-Mercedes

1:19.833

0.702

24

6

1

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing-Renault

1:20.097

0.966

28

7

20

Kevin Magnussen

McLaren-Mercedes

1:20.105

0.974

32

8

7

Kimi Räikkönen

Ferrari

1:20.210

1.079

21

9

26

Daniil Kvyat

STR-Renault

1:20.337

1.206

28

10

99

Adrian Sutil

Sauber-Ferrari

1:20.505

1.374

18

11

19

Felipe Massa

Williams-Mercedes

1:20.542

1.411

19

12

25

Jean-Eric Vergne

STR-Renault

1:20.586

1.455

23

13

27

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India-Mercedes

1:20.592

1.461

22

14

11

Sergio Perez

Force India-Mercedes

1:20.598

1.467

24

15

41

Susie Wolff

Williams-Mercedes

1:20.769

1.638

22

16

36

Giedo van der Garde

Sauber-Ferrari

1:20.782

1.651

23

17

8

Romain Grosjean

Lotus-Renault

1:21.603

2.472

20

18

13

Pastor Maldonado

Lotus-Renault

1:21.854

2.723

30

19

10

Kamui Kobayashi

Caterham-Renault

1:22.572

3.441

31

20

17

Jules Bianchi

Marussia-Ferrari

1:22.982

3.851

24

21

9

Marcus Ericsson

Caterham-Renault

1:23.256

4.125

35

22

4

Max Chilton

Marussia-Ferrari

1:23.299

4.168

22

2 thoughts on “First free practice for the German Grand Prix topped by the German, Nico Rosberg

  1. Pingback: Second free practice for the German Grand Prix topped by Lewis Hamilton | Kyle Archer

  2. Pingback: Final free practice for the German Grand Prix topped by Nico Rosberg | Kyle Archer

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