Rosberg fastest in opening Silverstone practice

Rosberg fastest in opening Silverstone practice

4 July 2014 – Nico Rosberg set the pace during an interrupted first free practice session for the British Grand Prix on Friday morning. After a lengthy stoppage for Felipe Massa's heavy crash, the Mercedes driver clocked a 1:35.424 to lead team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.731 seconds, with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso third.

Rosberg's best effort came with a third of the session remaining, although his comfortable margin over Hamilton can be put down to the fact that the Briton backed off at the end of what would have been his fastest lap.

Alonso was the best of the rest and the final man within a second of Rosberg's benchmark, narrowly ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Kimi Räikkönen and World Champion Sebastian Vettel followed in the remaining Ferrari and Red Bull machines.

The top 10 positions were occupied by the McLaren and Toro Rosso drivers; Jenson Button got his home Grand Prix off to a solid start in seventh place, just ahead of Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen and Jean-Éric Vergne.

The 90-minute session was red flagged shortly before the half-hour mark, when Williams driver Massa took too much kerb on the exit of Stowe and slid uncontrollably into the barriers on the other side of the circuit.

This added to an already challenging start for Williams, with practice debutant Susie Wolff, the first female to contest an official session since Giovanna Amati 22 years ago, stopped due to an oil pressure problem.

Wolff was one of four test drivers in action; Force India's Daniel Juncadella placed 14th, three tenths down on regular driver Sergio Pérez, Sauber's Giedo van der Garde finished 15th, a similar margin adrift of Esteban Gutiérrez and Robin Frijns wound up 20th, behind Marcus Ericsson, who was another driver to hit trouble when he spun at Becketts and got his car stuck on a grass verge, in a session plagued by technical issues.

Pastor Maldonado brought up the rear after his Lotus ground to a halt in the pit lane early in the session.

Friday's second practice session at Silverstone gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +1)

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