Rosberg quickest as British GP weekend gets underway
Nico Rosberg set the pace in the first free practice session ahead of the British Grand Prix, the F1 championship leader finishing seven tenths of a second clear of team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari, a further tenth of a second back.
It was a miserable morning for Williams, however. FIA Women in Motorsport Ambassador and Williams Devlopment Driver Susie Wolff’s much anticipated appearance in the team’s FW36, the first time in 22 years that a woman would take part in a grand prix weekend session, ended almost as soon as it began. Wolff completed just four laps before an oil pressure problem sidelined her. She took no further part in the session.
Worse was to come for Williams however. After seven laps on track Felipe Massa lost control at Stowe corner and slammed into the barriers before the pit lane entrance. The heavy damage to his car meant that there was no hope of the Brazilian emerging again and so the British team’s session ended with less than half an hour on the clock.
The session was red-flagged for 16 minutes as Massa’s car was removed and the action resumed with 47 minutes remaining.
Rosberg and Hamilton set their fastest time on Pirelli’s medium compound tyres early in the session, before switching to the hard tyre. Hamilton did look as though he would edge Rosberg, having gone quickest in the first sector but the Briton was forced to abandon the lap when Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson spun and brought out the yellow flags.
With Alonso third, fourth place went to Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bull Racing driver’s session wasn’t all plain sailing, however, as his work was eventually brought to a halt by a gearbox problem on his RB10.
Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for Ferrari, while sixth place went to Ricciardo’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel, whose running was largely confined to the period following the red flag.
Jenson Button was seventh for McLaren ahead of the Toro Rosso’s of Daniil Kvyat and ninth-placed Jean-Eric Vergne. The final top-10 place went to Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren.
2014 British Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Result
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.424 25
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36.155 0.731 22
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:36.263 0.839 23
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:36.623 1.199 21
5 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.703 1.279 23
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:36.921 1.497 20
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1:36.963 1.539 25
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:37.175 1.751 29
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:37.227 1.803 25
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:37.231 1.807 30
11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:37.720 2.296 22
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:37.910 2.486 21
13 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:38.056 2.632 18
14 Daniel Juncadella Force India 1:38.083 2.659 23
15 Giedo van der Garde Sauber 1:38.328 2.904 19
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:38.917 3.493 12
17 Felipe Massa Williams 1:39.461 4.037 7
18 Max Chilton Marussia 1:39.814 4.390 24
19 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:40.597 5.173 19
20 Robin Frijns Caterham 1:42.261 6.837 11
21 Susie Wolff Williams 1:44.212 8.788 4
22 Pastor Maldonado Lotus No time 2