Red Bull Ring FP1: Rosberg and Hamilton set the pace

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Nico Rosberg went quickest in the opening practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel exited the session early on and Fernando Alonso also suffered technical woes.

Rosberg set the pace from the start and his best lap of 1:10.401 was good enough to eclipse second-placed team-mate Lewis Hamilton by three tenths of a seconds. Third on the timesheet was Kimi Räikkonen, the Ferrari driver lapping sixth tenths down on Rosberg’s benchmark.

Vettel, though, had an unhappy time in the second Ferrari. The four-time champion’s session lasted just 20 minutes and four laps before he was a forced to pull over on track reporting a loss of drive.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest for Williams, with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completing the top five with a lap of 1:11.633, 1.2s seconds adrift of the to-p Mercedes.

Sixth place in the session went to Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat, the Russian finishing just under a tenth of a second clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who after a lacklustre Canadian Grand Prix is benefiting from a new chassis his weekend.

Raikkonen Ferrari FP1 Austria

Both Red Bull drivers are likely to take grid penalties this weekend, however, as the team looks set to give each driver a fifth Renault power unit of the season.

The Red Bulls were followed by Max Verstappen driving for Renault-powered sister outfit Toro Rosso, while Felipe Massa finished in ninth place for Williams with a time 1:11.890, just over one hundredth of a second ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Alonso’s FP1 problems started on his installation lap when the Spaniard was forced to coast back to the McLaren garage with an apparent problem.

He remained there until the closing stages of the session and then logged 10 laps before calling an early halt to his morning’s work. Alonso is also facing a grid penalty for use of a fifth power unit this weekend.

Austrian Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 – Friday, 19 June 2015
Pos. No. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:10.401 36
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.709 +0.308s 28
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:11.028 +0.627s 22
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:11.452 +1.051s 26
5 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:11.633 +1.232s 28
6 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:11.642 +1.241s 31
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:11.724 +1.323s 29
8 33 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:11.825 +1.424s 38
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:11.890 +1.489s 29
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:11.905 +1.504s 37
11 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:11.948 +1.547s 32
12 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:12.004 +1.603s 34
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:12.031 +1.630s 36
14 30 Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1:12.050 +1.649s 27
15 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:12.159 +1.758s 30
16 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:12.920 +2.519s 30
17 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:13.272 +2.871s 10
18 28 Will Stevens Marussia 1:13.937 +3.536s 29
19 98 Roberto Merhi Marussia 1:15.459 +5.058s 11
20 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:15.684 +5.283s 4