Rosberg edges Hamilton in first practice
18 July 2014 – Nico Rosberg set the standard in Friday morning's opening practice session for the German Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver recorded a best effort of 1:19.131 to edge out team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.065 seconds. Two tenths further back, Fernando Alonso finished as the best of the rest for Ferrari.
As the Formula 1 fraternity arrived at a blisteringly hot Hockenheim, all eyes were on how the Silver Arrows machines would react to the removal of front-and-rear-interconnected (FRIC) suspension, after teams failed to unanimously agree to delay an effective ban until the 2015 season.
But Rosberg and Hamilton – separated by four points in the championship standings heading into the weekend – appeared to enjoy a trouble free session, trading positions as the main runs developed to lock out the top two positions.
Rosberg ultimately finished ahead by six hundredths, with Hamilton losing time in the final sector of the lap.
Alonso was 0.292 seconds off the pace, with the Red Bulls and McLarens in close company. Daniel Ricciardo got the better of Jenson Button for fourth, while Sebastian Vettel lapped marginally faster than Kevin Magnussen.
Kimi Räikkönen, back to full health after his mammoth opening lap shunt at Silverstone, wound up eighth in the second of the Ferraris. The Finn was hampered, however, by a technical issue after his installation lap.
Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat and Sauber driver Adrian Sutil rounded out the top 10 positions.
Williams development driver Susie Wolff made her second practice appearance in as many races. After another early technical issue, which forced her to complete an entire lap stuck in first gear, she was this time able to return to the track to set the 15th fastest time, two tenths and four places adrift of regular Felipe Massa.
Sauber's Giedo van der Garde was the other test driver in action, ending the session in 16th position.
Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado appeared to struggle more than most with FRIC removed from their cars. The pair ended the morning 17th and 18th, ahead of only the Caterhams and Marussias.
Friday's second practice session at Hockenheim gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +2)