Red Bull Ring Practice 1: Rosberg leads from Hamilton

Nico Rosberg fastest in FP1

Nico Rosberg fastest in FP1

The sound of Formula 1 returned to the hills of Spielberg, after an 11 year hiatus, with the First Free Practice of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend where it was pretty much business as usual as Mercedes dominated the top of the timing screens, Nico Rosberg ending the 90 minutes session faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg’s best time of 1:11.295 was 0.14 up on Hamilton’s best. Despite this, after the session the team decided to change the ERS cooling pump on the championship leader’s W05. Earlier in the session Rosberg had reported that the car had switched off out on track.

Best of the rest was Fernando Alonso third fastest in the Ferrari, just under half a second down on the top time. Teammate Raikkonen was 11th on the timing screens when the checkered flag waved to end FP1.

Williams’ good form continued with Felipe Massa ending the session fourth fastest, with teammate Bottas eighth.

Jenson Button also showed good pace in the McLaren on his way to setting the fifth quickest time, ahead of the Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, sixth and seventh respectively. Kevin Magnussen was ninth.

Ominously for their rivals, Mercedes powered drivers occupied eight of the top nine spots on the timing sheets at the end of FP1.

Daniil Kvyat best of the Red Bull backed drivers in the Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat best of the Red Bull backed drivers in the Toro Rosso

Best of the Red Bull herd, on their home track, was Jean Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso with the 10th best time, his rookie teammate Daniil Kvyat 12th, Canadian GP winner Daniel Ricciardo 13th and Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel 15th.

The world champion survived a big moment as he spun at speed and got on the grass exiting the tricky final corner. He did well to keep it out of the wall and prevent what could have been a big shunt. Ricciardo had a similar, although less dramatic moment, shortly afterwards.

There was intermittent rain during the course of the session which curtailed running to some degree. The circuit situated in the Styrian mountains in has only nine corners, but the slow-and-fast nature provided a challenge as drivers pushed the edge in their quests for an optimum lap time. Racing should be of the highest order… (GP247)

Austrian Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 – Friday, 20 June 2014
Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:11.295 19
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:11.435 0.140 32
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:11.606 0.311 23
4 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:11.756 0.461 27
5 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:11.839 0.544 33
6 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:12.009 0.714 33
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:12.072 0.777 20
8 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:12.114 0.819 21
9 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:12.313 1.018 36
10 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:12.364 1.069 30
11 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:12.365 1.070 21
12 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:12.372 1.077 35
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:12.570 1.275 28
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:12.984 1.689 29
15 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:12.988 1.693 25
16 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:13.168 1.873 28
17 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:13.642 2.347 27
18 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:13.738 2.443 26
19 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:13.857 2.562 28
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:14.611 3.316 24
21 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:14.691 3.396 9
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:17.501 6.206 8