2014 Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix - First free practice

07:44
Hello and welcome to live coverage of opening practice for the Belgian Grand Prix!
07:44
The summer break is over and we're all set for racing to return
07:45
During that phase, there have been a couple of changes to the grid
07:45
Germany's Andre Lotterer has replaced Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham, while America's Alexander Rossi is stepping in for Max Chilton at Marussia
07:46
Both Lotterer and Rossi are debutants, so it will be interesting to see how they fare
07:47
In terms of the championship battle, Nico Rosberg heads into the Spa weekend with an 11-point advantage over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton
07:48
The Silver Arrows, meanwhile, hold a massive 174-point lead over Red Bull
07:50
As a reminder, Pirelli is supplying its Soft and Medium tyres this weekend
07:51
There are also two DRS zones in place, controlled by separate detection points
07:51
The first comes on the Kemmel straight, with the second along the main straight
07:53
Aside from Lotterer and Rossi, Sauber reserve van der Garde is also in action
07:53
The Dutchman will replace Gutierrez for the first 90-minute session
07:58
07:59
Friday and Sunday are expected to be dry, although rain is predicted tomorrow
08:00
The green light switches on at the end of the pit lane and FP1 begins!
08:00
Caterham drivers Ericsson and Lotterer are the first out on track
08:01
Plenty more cars heading out in the early stages
08:03
Just Ricciardo, Hamilton and the Force Indias yet to depart
08:04
Just a couple of minutes later, all 22 drivers have been out on track
08:07
A brief lull after the early flurry of installation laps
08:07
08:11
Plenty of checks and tweaks going on up and down the pit lane
08:13
Button breaks the silence in his McLaren
08:13
He is quickly joined on track by team-mate Magnussen
08:14
The track is beginning to fill up again
08:15
Button embarks on his first flying lap
08:16
He has a slight lift through Eau Rouge
08:17
That has been one of the key driving questions approaching the event: whether or not the famous corner can still be taken flat with the new regulations
08:18
Button clocks the first time of the session, lapping in 1:54.221
08:18
Magnussen goes comfortably clear with his opening attempt
08:18
Button is much closer to the limit through Eau Rouge next time around
08:18
It will be one to keep our eyes and ears on as the weekend progresses
08:19
Hamilton splits the two McLaren drivers
08:20
Rosberg moves to the front on 1:52.143
08:24
Alonso briefly goes fastest, before Rosberg improves
08:26
Replays show Alonso stopping on the side of the track before Eau Rouge
08:27
After a brief pause, the Ferrari driver got going again
08:27
Maldonado the only driver yet to post a time
08:31
08:31
It looks as though the rest of the field has the same idea, with all drivers back in the pits
08:32
Some big news to report, with Chilton reclaiming his Marussia seat from Rossi
08:32
The story is available on the main page of the website
08:32
Meanwhile, plenty of work is being carried out on Button's car
08:32
We have just passed the 30-minute mark, meaning the extra set of Prime Pirelli tyres must be handed back to the Italian manufacturer
08:36
Maldonado the only driver lapping at the moment
08:39
Lotterer reporting some understeer through the medium speed corners
08:39
He is currently 21st of 22, just under two seconds down on team-mate Ericsson
08:40
Maldonado takes Eau Rouge flat in eighth gear
08:40
Is that our pre-race question already settled?
08:42
Grosjean joins team-mate Maldonado on track
08:45
We've just hit the halfway mark of the session
08:47
Grosjean breaks into the top 10 with his latest effort
08:48
Replays show Ericsson having a spin at La Source
08:48
He has been passed by Lotterer on the timesheets
08:50
Grosjean taking plenty of kerb on the exit of Eau Rouge
08:50
Charlie Whiting could take a look at that area ahead of qualifying
08:52
Hamilton goes fastest with a 1:51.674
08:52
That's half a tenth up on team-mate Rosberg
08:54
"There's something wrong with the upshift," reports Vettel
08:54
The problems are coming from second to third and third to fourth
08:55
Button moves up to fourth, ahead of team-mate Magnussen
08:56
Replays show Vettel running wide at Pouhon, shortly after reporting his issue
08:56
Rosberg has edged back ahead of Hamilton
08:57
Hulkenberg is up to sixth, with Ricciardo seventh
08:58
Hamilton mirrors Vettel by running wide at Pouhon
08:59
Hamilton has been told that Rosberg is faster at Turn 10 and the final chicane
09:00
Alonso improves slightly, but stays third
09:01
Massa has a wild moment on the exit of Turn 9
09:01
Replays show Button locking up heavily into the first corner
09:03
Raikkonen up to fifth, between the McLaren duo
09:04
Kvyat is another to run wide at Pouhon
09:04
Lotterer is currently a tenth up on Caterham team-mate Ericsson
09:05
Meanwhile, Bianchi is 1.4 seconds faster than the other Marussia of Rossi
09:05
09:10
Raikkonen is told to head back to the pits slowly due to an overheating ERS
09:11
The track is silent once more, with just under 20 minutes remaining
09:14
Perez, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo and van der Garde head back out
09:17
Raikkonen heads back out after his seemingly brief issue
09:21
Only Vettel in the pits as we enter the final 10 minutes
09:21
"The power is still not correct," van der Garde shouts over the radio
09:23
Replays show Hamilton having a scary moment through Eau Rouge
09:23
The Briton only just held on to his Mercedes machine
09:26
Bianchi has a big lock up into the bus stop chicane
09:30
The chequered flag comes out at Spa
09:30
Rosberg stays fastest, ahead of Hamilton and Alonso
09:31
Stay tuned to the website for a full report plus the latest news and photos
09:31
We will be back for second practice at 2pm local time (GMT +2)