Lewis Hamilton has finished ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg by under three-tenths of a second, to record Mercedes’ 10th one-two finish in an FP1 session.
Both Mercedes drivers took to the track early along with the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, taking advantage of the extra set of tyres available in the first 30 minutes of the session.
Both McLaren’s impressed again throughout the first practice session as they did in Russia, with Button finishing in third and Magnussen fifth.
Hamilton spent most of the session ahead of Rosberg seeming more comfortable with the track and his set up.
Daniil Kvyat finished the session in fourth just under a second of Hamilton’s bench mark. Max Verstappen occupied Jean-Eric Vergne’s seat for FP1 and was nine-tenths off team-mate’s Kvyat’s time in 10th place.
The other driver filling in for the session was Felipe Nasr who took over Valtteri Bottas’ Williams. Nasr ran an impressive practice finishing in eighth position and beating his team-mate Felipe Massa by four-tenths.
Daniel Ricciardo’s session was brought to an early end after he ran into problems with his ERS system. Sebastian Vettel finished seventh in the other Red Bull.
Romain Grosjean trialled Lotus’ new nose, however he encountered suspension problems towards the end of the session. Despite completing 26 laps Grosjean still found himself at the bottom of the grid.
The FIA trialled a new virtual safety car at the end of the session, which saw cars forced to set a speed limit while under the virtual safety car. Brought on by the events in Suzuka, the FIA plans to introduce “slow zones” as seen in the WEC, where cars will have to travel at a certain speed through a hazardous sector.
Image via XPB Images