After a busy few days off-track, Mercedes began in Germany where they left off in Britain, displaying early dominance at the Nürburgring by taking the top two positions in the first free practice session.
Under overcast skies the first practice session at the Nürburgring proceeded under threat of a driver race boycott, should the tyre failures which blighted the British Grand Prix reoccur. With a new set of tyre safety precautions being enforced, the session passed without issue.
Hamilton eventually emerged on top with a time of 1:31.754 set at the hour mark. He and Rosberg had been swapping fastest laps for much of the session with the Briton eventually coming out on top by a margin of two-tenths of a second. Behind the Silver Arrows there was a long gap back to Mark Webber in third place. The Red Bull driver was 1.035s adrift of Hamilton’s time.
Behind Webber, Adrian Sutil was fourth quickest for Force India, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen’s Lotus. Felipe Massa was sixth in the sole running Ferrari, with Jenson Button seventh in the first of the McLarens. World Champion Sebastian Vettel had a low-key return to home soil in eighth, ahead of Romain Grosjean, ninth for Lotus. Sergio Pérez rounded out the top ten in the second McLaren.
Conspicuous by his absence from that list was the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Alonso coasted to a halt on his out-lap, his car sidelined by a suspected electrical problem. He pulled off the circuit and made his way back to the garage on the back of a moped. With his car swiftly recovered he re-emerged at the halfway mark, only to slow to a crawl and inform the pitwall his problem had resurfaced. He was able to complete the lap but did not take any further part in the session and failed to set a time.
2013 German Grand Prix, Free Practice One times.
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.754
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.973 +0.219
3 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:32.789 +1.035
4 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:32.822 +1.068
5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1:32.956 +1.202
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.065 +1.311
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1:33.139 +1.385
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:33.213 +1.459
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:33.260 +1.506
10 Sergio Pérez McLaren 1:33.456 +1.702
11 Paul di Resta Force India 1:33.493 +1.739
12 Nico Hülkenberg Sauber 1:33.810 +2.056
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:33.901 +2.147
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:33.976 +2.222
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:34.025 +2.271
16 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:34.200 +2.446
17 Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber 1:34.437 +2.683
18 Charles Pic Caterham 1:35.674 +3.920
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1:35.987 +4.233
20 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:36.078 +4.324
21 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia 1:37.459 +5.705
22 Fernando Alonso Ferrari No time