Nico Rosberg has topped the first practice session at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, 1.4s ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Drivers spent the session acquainting and reacquainting themselves with the Red Bull Ring, which has been absent from the F1 calendar for 11 years.

Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa are the only drivers in the field who have raced at the venue, which was previously named the A1-Ring prior 2009.

As well as a few teams trialling new aero parts on their cars, Mercedes and Ferrari tested skid blocks on the floor of their cars in order to create sparks and make the cars more spectacular. Rosberg and Raikkonen were the carriers of the skid blocks. Work is now being carried out by the teams to figure out where to position the blocks to create the best sparks.

Having set the fastest time in FP1, Rosberg ended his session with 20 minutes to go as the team wanted to change his KERS cooling pump that was giving him troubles earlier.

A mix of learning a new track and a very green surface saw plenty of cars run wide and explore track limits. Sebastian Vettel was lucky to avoid heavy damage as he got out of shape on the final corner and completed a full 720-spin.

The top 10 were almost a lock out of Mercedes powered engines, aside from the Ferrari of Alonso and Renault powered Toro Rosso piloted by Jean-Eric Vergne.

Red Bull has had a slow start to the weekend, with Daniel Ricciardo placing 13th whilst his team-mate Vettel was two places behind in 15th.

Marcus Ericsson suffered electrical problems after seven laps, and is in danger of missing FP2 if his team isn’t able to fix the problem in time.

Adrian Sutil also experienced problems in his Sauber. A broken hose in his turbo saw the unit malfunction and not work properly, sidelining him from the session after seven laps.

2014 Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:11.295 19
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:11.435 + 0.140 32
3. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:11.606 + 0.311 23
4. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:11.756 + 0.461 27
5. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:11.839 + 0.544 33
6. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:12.009 + 0.714 33
7. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:12.072 + 0.777 20
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:12.114 + 0.819 21
9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:12.313 + 1.018 36
10. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:12.364 + 1.069 30
11. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:12.365 + 1.070 21
12. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:12.372 + 1.077 35
13. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:12.570 + 1.275 28
14. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:12.984 + 1.689 29
15. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:12.988 + 1.693 25
16. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:13.168 + 1.873 28
17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:13.642 + 2.347 27
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:13.738 + 2.443 26
19. Max Chilton Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:13.857 + 2.562 28
20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:14.611 + 3.316 24
21. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:14.691 + 3.396 9
22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:17.501 + 6.206 8

Images via Getty Images

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