The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team dominated the opening proceedings of its home race, the German Grand Prix, with teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg lapping comfortably quicker than the rest of the field in Friday’s first practice session at the Nürburgring.
Despite the presence of some heavy black clouds, the rain stayed away for the entire 90-minute session, which gave the field plenty of time to get some mileage on Pirelli’s new-construction tyres.
That was, with the exception of two of the grid’s regular drivers. The big shock came for Fernando Alonso, whose Ferrari ground to a halt after a handful of corners. While the track marshals were able to tow the Spaniard’s stricken F138 back to the pits for attention from his mechanics, the same issue hit again when he rejoined the circuit, leaving him at the bottom of the timesheets.
Jules Bianchi also gave the session a miss, altohugh his absence was courtesy of a stomach bug. His misadventures gave Marussia rent-a-driver Rodolfo González a second outing in the MR02. While the Venezuelan was comfortably slowest of those to post a time, he did achieve one ‘quickest’ title – that of the quickest man through the pit lane; for which he copped a €1000 (£859) for exceeding the 60km/h speed limit by a full 14km/h!
Up at the top of the timesheets, Lewis Hamilton assumed top spot just before the one-hour mark, from which point the Englishman and his teammate Nico Rosberg continued to lower the benchmark time, with the pair finishing eight-tenths of a second quicker than Mark Webber, who was the best of the rest of the field.
With much of the field rightly concentrating on long runs on the new Pirelli tyres, Adrian Sutil and Kimi Räikkönen rounded out the top five, ahead of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button, with the McLaren driver heading the timesheets earlier in the session.
Sebastian Vettel – a driver who has never won at home or in the month of July – was eighth-quickest in the second Red Bull entry as he dialled himself into the weekend. Romain Grosjean and Sergio Pérez completed the top ten.
2013 German Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:31.754||25|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:31.973||+ 0.219||25|
|3.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:32.789||+ 1.035||22|
|4.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:32.822||+ 1.068||16|
|5.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:32.956||+ 1.202||22|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:33.065||+ 1.311||18|
|7.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:33.139||+ 1.385||24|
|8.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:33.213||+ 1.459||20|
|9.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:33.260||+ 1.506||20|
|10.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:33.456||+ 1.702||27|
|11.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:33.493||+ 1.739||18|
|12.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:33.810||+ 2.056||18|
|13.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:33.901||+ 2.147||20|
|14.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:33.976||+ 2.222||23|
|15.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||1:34.025||+ 2.271||20|
|16.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||1:34.200||+ 2.446||22|
|17.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:34.437||+ 2.683||24|
|18.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||1:35.674||+ 3.920||23|
|19.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:35.987||+ 4.233||19|
|20.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault CT03||1:36.078||+ 4.324||23|
|21.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:37.459||+ 5.705||21|
|22.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||no time||2|