Rosberg tops opening practice despite early stoppage

Nico Rosberg led the way in opening practice for the British Grand Prix despite pulling off the circuit early in the session with a hydraulic problem that was soon fixed by his Mercedes mechanics.

Rosberg was forced to stop at Maggotts early in the session, ironically the place where he retired from the race in 2014, but managed to get back onto the track to set a time of 1m34.334s to get ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 0.010s, before going even faster as the chequered flag fell, posting his best time of 1m34.274s.

Hamilton had led the way from early on, despite having an early spin exiting the fast Stowe corner after running wide and touching the Astroturf.

Mercedes were more a second clear of the rest of the field, which was led by the impressive Max Verstappen of Scuderia Toro Rosso, who set a best time of 1m35.530s, 0.058s clear of the Scuderia Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

The second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr was fifth quickest despite a couple of lock-up’s during the session, with Sebastian Vettel sixth in the second Ferrari.

The two Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers were seventh and eighth, with Daniel Ricciardo ahead of Daniil Kvyat despite the Australian driver complaining of having some issues with his brakes during the session.

Nico Hulkenberg was ninth quickest in his first time in the b-specification Sahara Force India VJM08, while Felipe Massa completed the top ten for Williams Martini Racing, while Felipe Nasr of the Sauber F1 Team was eleventh ahead of Sergio Perez of Force India.

Three test drivers participated in the session, with Susie Wolff of Williams finishing thirteenth fastest, just ahead of Jolyon Palmer of the Lotus F1 Team and Raffaele Marciello of Sauber. Valtteri Bottas, Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson were the drivers to skip the session for their respective teams.

The McLaren-Honda team endured another tough session, with Jenson Button’s MP4/30 springing a leak at the end of his installation lap, which the team did well to fix before the end of the session, but the British driver finished eighteenth fastest, just behind team-mate Fernando Alonso.

At the back of the field were the two Manor F1 Team drivers, with Will Stevens only 0.121s back on Button’s time in nineteenth, but Roberto Merhi was well back from his team-mate in twentieth.

British Grand Prix Free Practice 1 Result

16Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m34.274s
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m34.344s
333Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m35.530s
47Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m35.588s
555Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m35.669s
65Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m35.739s
73Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m35.818s
826Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m35.876s
927Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m36.157s
1019Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m36.469s
1112Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m36.855s
1211Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m36.889s
1341Susie WolffGBRWilliams-Mercedes1m37.242s
1430Jolyon PalmerGBRLotus-Mercedes1m37.262s
1536Raffaele MarcielloITASauber-Ferrari1m37.372s
1613Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m38.080s
1714Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m38.222s
1822Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m38.860s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m38.981s
2098Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m40.477s