Lewis Hamilton led the way in the opening practice session at the Nurburgring

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:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:31.754   25
2. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:31.973 + 0.219 25
3. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:32.789 + 1.035 22
4. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:32.822 + 1.068 16
5. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:32.956 + 1.202 22
6. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:33.065 + 1.311 18
7. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:33.139 + 1.385 24
8. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:33.213 + 1.459 20
9. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:33.260 + 1.506 20
10. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:33.456 + 1.702 27
11. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:33.493 + 1.739 18
12. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:33.810 + 2.056 18
13. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:33.901 + 2.147 20
14. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:33.976 + 2.222 23
15. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:34.025 + 2.271 20
16. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:34.200 + 2.446 22
17. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:34.437 + 2.683 24
18. Charles Pic FRA Caterham Renault CT03 1:35.674 + 3.920 23
19. Max Chilton GBR Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:35.987 + 4.233 19
20. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:36.078 + 4.324 23
21. Rodolfo Gonzalez VEN Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:37.459 + 5.705 21
22. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 no time   2

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.