Nico Rosberg has narrowly edged out teammate Lewis Hamilton in the opening practice of the British Grand Prix, with the Mercedes AMG Petronas duo claiming yet another 1-2 on the timesheets.
The result came despite Rosberg’s running being cut short with a suspected hydraulics problem in his F1W06 Hybrid.
The pair spent the early stages of the 90-minute session exchanging fastest laps, until Rosberg pulled off to the side of the circuit when he hit technical trouble.
The team’s dramas might not be over there, with the FIA’s technical delegate, Jo Bauer, reporting the team to the FIA Stewards for attempting to cover the car’s rear diffuser, underside and front wing from prying photographers’ lenses while the car was being recovered to the paddock.
Rosberg’s mechanics were able to have his car repaired before the end of the session, which allowed the German to complete a late, brief run on fresh Hard-compound tyres and post a 1:34.274, eclipsing Hamilton’s then-fastest time by 0.070 seconds.
Hamilton also suffered a spin during the session, but suffered no damage to his car.
The pair finished well over a second clear of the rest of the field, which was headed by the Toro Rosso rookies, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr, who finished third- and fifth-fastest respectively. The pair sandwiched Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen on the timesheets.
The Finn’s teammate Sebastian Vettel marked his 28th birthday celebrations by finishing the session sixth-fastest in the sister SF15-T, narrowly ahead of Red Bull Racing duo Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat.
Nico Hülkenberg gave the heavily-upgraded Force India VJM08 its first run in full B-spec trim, finishing the session ninth-fastest. Teammate Sergio Pérez was twelfth-fastest, with the pair split by Brazilian duo Felipe Massa and Felipe Nasr, in their respective Williams and Sauber entries.
Friday’s opening session saw three ‘occasional’ drivers in action, and they claimed P13-15 on the timesheets. Williams test driver Susie Wolff had her first outing in the team’s FW37 since the pre-season, edging out Lotus and Sauber’s respective reserve drivers, Jolyon Palmer and Raffaele Marciello. Regular drivers Valtteri Bottas, Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson, therefore, sat out the session.
Pastor Maldonado hit trouble in the other Lotus E23 Hybrid and languished in 16th place on the timesheets, ahead of only the McLaren and Manor Marussia runners.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button tallied just 22 laps between them as they looked to conserve Honda engine mileage, and they only just finished ahead of local driver Will Stevens, who was just 0.1 seconds off Button’s best lap. Roberto Merhi brought up the rear, a further 1.5 seconds slower than his teammate.
Friday’s second practice session at Silverstone begins at 14:00 local time (GMT +1).
|2015 Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:34.274||12|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:34.344||+ 0.070||26|
|3.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:35.530||+ 1.256||18|
|4.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:35.588||+ 1.314||21|
|5.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:35.669||+ 1.395||33|
|6.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:35.739||+ 1.465||17|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:35.818||+ 1.544||26|
|8.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:35.876||+ 1.602||22|
|9.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:36.157||+ 1.883||28|
|10.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:36.469||+ 2.195||23|
|11.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:36.855||+ 2.581||20|
|12.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:36.889||+ 2.615||26|
|13.||Susie Wolff||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:37.242||+ 2.968||19|
|14.||Jolyon Palmer||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:37.262||+ 2.988||26|
|15.||Raffaele Marciello||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:37.372||+ 3.098||17|
|16.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:38.080||+ 3.806||8|
|17.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:38.222||+ 3.948||12|
|18.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:38.860||+ 4.586||10|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:38.981||+ 4.707||23|
|20.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:40.477||+ 6.203||23|
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
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