RED BULL RING, Austria – Mercedes once again dominated first practice ahead of a Formula 1 Grand Prix by topping the times today at the Red Bull Ring ahead of the 2016 Austrian Formula 1 GP.
And once again it was Nico Rosberg who took the fastest time ahead of his team mate Lewis Hamilton – by 0.357sec.
Rosberg is leading Hamilton in the Drivers’ championship by 24 points and, as it happens, is the only driver to have won in Austria with wins in 2014 and 2015 after the track returned to the calendar after an absence of 11 years.
BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR RICCIARDO
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was third though his race chances will diminish with an expected five-place grid penalty for changing a gearbox outside of the schedule. Right behind him was team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Daniel Ricciardo gave himself a birthday present – he’s turned 27 and his time was fifth-best.
Red Bull’s teenage driver Max Verstappen, who logged eighth fastest today, labelled the track “dangerous”: he hit the kerbing twice during the session, breaking a wing, damaging his suspension and stalling in the gravel.
The yellow kerbs were installed, apparently, to keep drivers on the track instead of clipping its edges to gain microseconds.
Here’s how the drivers fared:
Times from the first free practice session ahead of the 2016 Austrian Formula 1 GP at the Red Bull Ring on Friday July 1
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min07.373
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min07.730
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min08.022
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min08.222
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull – TAG Heuer 1min08.528
6 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 1min08.803
7 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min08.824
8 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull – TAG Heuer 1min08.962
9 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso – Ferrari 1min08.990
10 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min08.998
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Haas – Ferrari 1min09.078
12 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India – Mercedes 1min09.280
13 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min09.365
14 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min09.567
15 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) Renault 1min09.707
16 Pascal Wehrlein (Germany) Manor – Mercedes 1min09.775
17 Jolyon Palmer (Britain) Renault 1min09.851
18 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber – Ferrari 1min09.929
19 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Haas – Ferrari 1min10.110
20 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber – Ferrari 1min10.314
21 Rio Haryanto (Indonesia) Manor – Mercedes 1min10.493
22 Alfonso Celis (Mexico) Force India – Mercedes 1min10.860