Rosberg tops first session in Austria

By on Friday, June 20, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Nico Rosberg set the quickest time in the opening practice session as Formula 1 returned to Austria for the first time in 11 years.

Rosberg posted a 1:11.295 on prime tyres to end the 90 minute session 0.14s clear of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third fastest, 0.311s down on championship leader Rosberg, whose Mercedes W05 Hybrid was fitted with a skid block in order to trial the artificial implementation of sparks.

Felipe Massa was fourth quickest for Williams, while Jenson Button edged out the Force India duo of Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg.

Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Jean-Éric Vergne rounded out the top 10.

Cool and cloudy conditions greeted the field, with a few drops of rain falling across the session.

Several drivers had off-track excursions as many sampled the Red Bull Ring for the first time in their careers. Esteban Gutiérrez, Romain Grosjean and Kamui Kobayashi skated wide at the first corner early on, while Bottas suffered a huge lock-up and had to dive into the run-off prior to the apex. Massa and Pastor Maldonado both found the gravel at turn three after locking up while Hamilton avoided running wide despite a lurid moment mid-corner.

The penultimate corner also caused grief to several drivers. Daniel Ricciardo ran outside the white line as he entered the pits, while both Ferrari and Toro Rosso drivers took to the tarmac run-off after their cars suffered from snap oversteer through the turn.

Sebastian Vettel ran wide at the final corner and bounced across the grass before being pitched into a high speed spin as he narrowly avoided making contact with the barrier. Shortly afterwards it was Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo’s turn to encounter problems at the last turn as he made a similar error but his RB10 snapped sideways back onto the track, thus avoiding most of the drama of Vettel’s moment. The Australian ended the session in 13th place, a couple of positions ahead of Vettel, as Red Bull's home weekend started on a lowly note.

Adrian Sutil’s Sauber suffered from a broken hose, meaning that the German’s session was truncated prematurely.

Caterham’s difficult period continued as Marcus Ericsson completed a couple of laps before his CT05 stopped by the pit exit with smoke coming from the car.

PositionNumberDriverTeamTimeGap
16Nico RosbergMercedes1:11.295
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:11.4350.140
314Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:11.6060.311
419Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:11.7560.461
522Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:11.8390.544
611Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:12.0090.714
727Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:12.0720.777
877Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:12.1140.819
920Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:12.3131.018
1025Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:12.3641.069
117Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:12.3651.070
1226Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:12.3721.077
133Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:12.5701.275
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:12.9841.689
151Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:12.9881.693
168Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:13.1681.873
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:13.6422.347
1817Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:13.7382.443
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:13.8572.562
2010Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:14.6113.316
2199Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:14.6913.396
229Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:17.5016.206

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