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 de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:34.274 12
2. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:34.344 + 0.070 26
3. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:35.530 + 1.256 18
4. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:35.588 + 1.314 21
5. Carlos Sainz es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:35.669 + 1.395 33
6. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:35.739 + 1.465 17
7. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:35.818 + 1.544 26
8. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:35.876 + 1.602 22
9. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08 1:36.157 + 1.883 28
10. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:36.469 + 2.195 23
11. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:36.855 + 2.581 20
12. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08 1:36.889 + 2.615 26
13. Susie Wolff uk Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:37.242 + 2.968 19
14. Jolyon Palmer uk Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:37.262 + 2.988 26
15. Raffaele Marciello it Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:37.372 + 3.098 17
16. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:38.080 + 3.806 8
17. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:38.222 + 3.948 12
18. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:38.860 + 4.586 10
19. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:38.981 + 4.707 23
20. Roberto Merhi es Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:40.477 + 6.203 23

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team


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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.

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