Hockenheim FP1: Ricciardo and Red Bull surprise

Despite a host of penalties looming Daniel Ricciardo powered his Red Bull to the top of the timing screens in the first free practice of the German Grand Prix weekend, on a glorious morning at Hockenheim.

Ricciardo’s best lap time of 1:13.525 was good for top spot on the timing screens at the end of the 90-minute session, although only 0.004 of a second up on Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen was third fastest, a couple of tenths down on his Red Bull teammate suggesting that Red Bull have a strong car for the weekend.

Local hero Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest in his Ferrari, a quarter of a second shy of the top time but half a second up on teammate Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.

Splitting the red cars on the timing screen was the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in fifth, the top six separated by less than a quarter second.

Once again best of the rest were the Haas pair, with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen seventh and eighth respectively but well over a second down on Ricciardo’s best.

Charles Leclerc was ninth fastest in the Sauber making it five Ferrari powered cars in the top ten. Marcus Ericsson made way for reserve Antonio Giovinazzi who ended 19th and over a second down on the sister car.

Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten in his Renault, half a second up on teammate Carlos Sainz down in 14th but the German was still 1.7 seconds down on the benchmark pace.

Report in progress…