Nico Rosberg set best time in free practice, how not, followed by his team mate. Alonso follows both three tenths away in a session characterized by FRIC suspension’s prohibition. Giedo Van Der Garde was in hands of Gutiérrez’s Sauber while Susie Wolff was in Bottas’s Williams’.
Nico Rosberg set the best time in first free practice of German Grand Prix, which can be considered as his home Grand Prix. He does so a week after that the football selection of this country was proclaimed world champion, and so was honoured by Mercedes AMG team – official selection sponsor – and Nico Rosberg, who wanted to have the world cup in his helmet but commercial interests made him put it down and instead, drawing four stars.
First session started with a sunny sky, hot and not windy, with high track temperature as a consequence. Those seem to be the conditions for today and tomorrow but attention, because there are 30% possibilities of rain during Sunday’s race.
Teams arrived to Hockenheimring after knowing the prohibition of using FRIC suspension after other teams reclaimed. FRIC suspension is an hydraulic passive system – without electronics – that counteracts car front inclination while braking. The intention is that the separation from the floor of the rear part of the car does not affect aerodynamics, and that is the polemic point. Considering that this is its function, then it is a mobile aerodynamic element, so it is forbidden when rules applied. Teams like Red Bull or Mercedes declared having used them and compromised uninstalling them from this weekend.
Activity in track was so intense during the whole session, especially in Mercedes and Red Bull, teams affected by the prohibition. It was told that that was one of the secrets of this teams’ performance, especially the silver one, and that may be the reason why Alonso was so close to Rosberg’s time. We will see if that distance keeps that close during the rest of the weekend.
Another novelty this weekend is the presence of Giedo Van Der Garde and Susie Wolff. Good actuation of reserve drivers in Sauber and Williams, who accumulated kilometres and set close to their team mates’ times, Sutil and Massa. In the british driver case, second time that drives a car and after a bad session in Silverstone he preoccupied again. Being the first one to leave the pit lane, in two turns she started to drive so slow with gears’ problems. Fortunately, she could get to the box and the team solved the situation, allowing her to drive all the session long.
Many locks were seen – in some cars, perhaps that because FRIC uninstall – and wide runs in many turns. Charlie Whiting warned that he would be looking after drivers not taking profit of running wide in turn exits, because in Hockenheimring happens the same that happened in Austria and Great Britain; cars being driven with all four wheels outside of the white lines. In the german case, this action uses to happen in entry and exit turns of the main straight, which are fast turns and with a wide asphalt esplanade.
Talking about mechanic problems, Kimi Räikkönen suffered a problem with water pump, Grosjean stuck the DRS and almost spins in the hardest brake of the circuit, and Chilton smoked in the first minutes of the session. All three problems along with Wolff’s change one were solved successfully and drivers could get to the track and have a normal session again.
First practice results:
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes||25||1:19,196||+ 0,065|
|3||14||Fernando Alonso||SPA||Ferrari||21||1:19,423||+ 0,292|
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull Racing – Renault||27||1:19,697||+ 0,566|
|5||22||Jenson Button||GBR||McLaren – Mercedes||24||1:19,833||+ 0,702|
|6||1||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Red Bull Racing – Renault||28||1:20,097||+ 0,966|
|7||20||Kevin Magnussen||DAN||McLaren – Mercedes||32||1:20,105||+ 0,974|
|8||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Ferrari||21||1:20,210||+ 1,079|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Toro Rosso – Renault||28||1:20,337||+ 1,206|
|10||99||Adrian Sutil||GER||Sauber – Ferrari||18||1:20,505||+ 1,374|
|11||19||Felipe Massa||BRA||Williams – Mercedes||19||1:20,542||+ 1,411|
|12||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||FRA||Toro Rosso – Renault||23||1:20,586||+ 1,455|
|13||27||Nico Hülkenberg||GER||Force India – Mercedes||22||1:20,592||+ 1,461|
|14||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||Force India – Mercedes||24||1:20,598||+ 1,467|
|15||41||Susie Wolff||GBR||Williams – Mercedes||22||1:20,769||+ 1,638|
|16||36||Giedo Van der Garde||NED||Sauber – Ferrari||23||1:20,782||+ 1,651|
|17||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Lotus – Renault||20||1:21,603||+ 2,472|
|18||13||Pastor Maldonado||VEN||Lotus – Renault||30||1:21,854||+ 2,723|
|19||10||Kamui Kobayashi||JAP||Caterham – Renault||31||1:22,572||+ 3,441|
|20||17||Jules Bianchi||FRA||Marussia – Ferrari||24||1:22,982||+ 3,851|
|21||9||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Caterham – Renault||35||1:23,256||+ 4,125|
|22||4||Max Chilton||GBR||Marussia – Ferrari||22||1:23,299||+ 4,168|