Skip to content

Hamilton heads Mercedes 1-2 in first German GP practice

Jul 5, 2013, 5:33 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Germany - Practice Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has given Mercedes the perfect start to its home grand prix weekend by finishing quickest in the first practice session at the Nurburgring this morning, with Nico Rosberg underlining the pace of the Silver Arrows by coming home P2 as Red Bull struggled to produce such pace, finishing over one second behind Hamilton at the top.

The session began in a rather quiet manner following the statement issued by Pirelli and the FIA earlier today, causing teams to be particularly cautious during the first few laps on the new tires. However, they stuck to their usual programme, completing a series of installation laps early on. This did not go to plan for Fernando Alonso, with the Ferrari coming to a halt on the entry to turn five during his outlap. Paul di Resta also had difficulties, bickering with his engineer over the radio, but it was not until around 30 minutes of the session had been completed that the first benchmark time was set by Jenson Button, eventually improving to a lap of 1:33.545 on the medium compound.

McLaren’s spell at the top of the timesheets was not to last long as Red Bull and Mercedes soon hit the front. Mark Webber, who won at the Nurburgring back in 2009, led from teammate Sebastian Vettel before the Silver Arrows went fastest via the last winner at this track, Lewis Hamilton. He and Nico Rosberg then exchanged fastest times with just 0.011 seconds separating them at one point, but Mercedes enjoyed a lead of over a second from Webber in P3. Other impressive times came from Adrian Sutil (P4) and Felipe Massa (P6), with both drivers looking to build on the points that they scored last time out at Silverstone.

However, it was not fun and games for all of the field. Max Chilton, Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez all had lock-ups heading into the tight first corner, whilst Rodolfo Gonzalez (deputizing for Jules Bianchi in FP1) received a €1000 fine for speeding in the pit lane.

The final set of runs saw Vettel and Grosjean both improving as Hamilton became another victim of the first corner, using the full extent of the run-off area, but he remained secure in top spot as the heavy fuel runs prevented any real challenge to his supremacy.

Mercedes will be delighted to have kicked off their home grand prix in such dominant fashion, and the sizeable gap to their rivals will make this session all the more pleasing. The question that will be asked this afternoon is whether or not the drivers feel safe racing on the prototype Pirelli tires, with the GPDA stepping up its warning last night.

Latest Posts
  1. Alonso: Reaching Q2 a nice surprise for McLaren

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Mideast Bahrain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Jenson Button was less fortunate in qualifying, though, as a problem on his car sidelined him without setting a lap time.

  2. Carlos Sainz Jr shines as top rookie in Bahrain qualifying

    Apr 18, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Despite expecting to struggle in Bahrain, Sainz will start the race from ninth place on Sunday.

  3. Grosjean disappointed with P10 in Bahrain GP qualifying

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Grosjean 184 Getty Images

    Grosjean believes he could have qualified higher up the grid, but is pleased to have maintained his 100% Q3 record in 2015.

  4. Simon Pagenaud fastest in IndyCar’s final Long Beach practice

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

    Simon Pagenaud Simon Pagenaud

    Simon Pagenaud led IndyCar’s final practice session in Long Beach.

  5. Daniil Kvyat puzzled by Q1 elimination in Bahrain

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:07 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Qualifying Getty Images

    Daniel Ricciardo fares far better in the sister Red Bull, qualifying seventh in Bahrain.

  6. Webber hits out at tire-focused single seater series

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix Getty Images

    Former Red Bull driver believes that the focus should not be on tire management, but instead on driver ability and pace.

  7. Rosberg disappointed to qualify behind Vettel in Bahrain

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Rosberg misses out on the front row for the second time in three races, exposing Mercedes to the threat from Ferrari in the race.

  8. IndyCar: Another flip at the Coyne: Conor Daly to fill in for Rocky Moran Jr.

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    Photo: Chris Owens/IndyCar Photo: Chris Owens/IndyCar

    Conor Daly gets a last-minute IndyCar shot with Dale Coyne Racing.

  9. Vettel confident Ferrari can attack Mercedes from P2

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Mideast Bahrain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Four-time world champion qualified second for the Bahrain Grand Prix, splitting the Mercedes drivers at the front of the grid.

  10. Hamilton delighted with first Bahrain pole, but fears Ferrari will be hard to beat

    Apr 18, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Hamilton 184e Getty Images

    The defending F1 world champion feels more at ease with this year’s car in Bahrain, allowing him to dominate qualifying on Saturday.

  11. Hamilton eases to fourth straight pole position in Bahrain

    Apr 18, 2015, 12:06 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1-QUALIFIER Getty Images

    British driver claims his fourth pole position of the season, but only his first in Bahrain.

  12. WATCH LIVE: Bahrain GP qualifying on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Can Lewis Hamilton continue his streak of pole positions in Bahrain? Or will Nico Rosberg get back on top in qualifying?

  13. Manor planning to unveil 2015 car in August

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Stevens 184 Getty Images

    John Booth says that the long-term future of the team is being planned and secured thanks to fresh investment.

  14. Hamilton closes out Bahrain GP practice on top

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:02 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Qualifying Getty Images

    The defending world champion edges out Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in FP3 ahead of qualifying later today.

  15. WATCH LIVE: FP3 for the Bahrain GP from 8am ET on Live Extra

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:45 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BHR-F1 Getty Images

    Mercedes and Ferrari continue to exchange blows in Bahrain, but who will get the upper hand ahead of qualifying?

  16. Ricky Taylor, Auberlen on pole for TUDOR at Long Beach

    Apr 17, 2015, 9:16 PM EDT

    Photo: IMSA Photo: IMSA

    Ricky Taylor, Bill Auberlen secure pole positions for Round 3 of TUDOR Championship season in Long Beach.

  17. Power, Pagenaud laugh off last year’s Long Beach contact in post-practice press conference

    Apr 17, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    A quick flashback to last year's Pagenaud, Power contact. A quick flashback to last year's Pagenaud, Power contact.

    Some good banter between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power occurs during post-practice press conference, as the two laugh off their contact here last year.

  18. GP2: Vandoorne continues pole position streak in Bahrain

    Apr 17, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    Five in a row for the McLaren junior driver as he starts the 2015 season in style.

  19. Raikkonen and Vettel cautious about challenging Mercedes in Bahrain

    Apr 17, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    Mideast Bahrain F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Ferrari’s long run pace suggests that Mercedes may not have it all its own way on Sunday.