Rosberg tops opening session in Austria

By on Friday, June 19, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

2014 race winner Nico Rosberg set the pace during the first practice session as Formula 1 returned to action at the Red Bull Ring on Friday morning.

Rosberg clocked a time of 1:10.401 on the Prime tyres during the early stages of running and his time was not beaten as he finished the session 0.308s clear of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton was looking to improve on his lap time and had set the quickest sector times before a mistake at Turn 8 scuppered his chances of overhauling Rosberg.

Ferrari emerged as Mercedes’ nearest competitor with Kimi Räikkönen, but team-mate Sebastian Vettel endured a challenging session as he managed just three laps before pulling off the circuit on the run towards Turn 2.

Vettel lost drive while in fourth gear and parked his SF15-T, sitting out the remainder of the session as a result of the problem.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth for Williams, while a late lap from Felipe Nasr enabled the Brazilian to move into fifth.

Red Bull managed sixth and seventh courtesy of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, though both drivers will drop 10 places on the grid due to an engine change.

Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen placed eighth, Felipe Massa had to dodge Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene in the pits en-route to ninth while Sergio Pérez completed the top 10 positions.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was 11th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado, Le Mans victor Nico Hülkenberg and Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, who received another outing in place of Romain Grosjean.

Marcus Ericsson claimed 15th, ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, the latter missing out on a large portion of the session after a problem on his car during the early stages of running.

Will Stevens was 18th, 19th went to Manor Marussia team-mate Roberto Merhi, with the hindered Vettel bottom of the pile.

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