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F1 German Grand Prix: Rosberg pips Hamilton in close FP1

Nico Rosberg edged out team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.065s during FP1 for the German Grand Prix
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Nico Rosberg edged out team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.065s during FP1 for the German Grand Prix.

On a hot morning at Hockenheim with track temperatures reaching 46C, Rosberg set a best time of 1:19.131 as teams ran without FRIC suspension systems following the FIA's technical directive last week. That left Rosberg just clear of Hamilton – who often aborted fast laps – on a 1:19.196, while Fernando Alonso was within 0.3s of the Mercedes pair in third place.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest for Red Bull but over half a second off Rosberg's best, just ahead of Jenson Button as both McLarens showed encouraging early pace following a strong performance in the British Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

Sebastian Vettel was sixth in the second Red Bull – exactly 0.4s slower than Ricciardo – while Kevin Magnussen was the only other driver within a second of Rosberg as he finished the session seventh ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Daniil Kvyat and Adrian Sutil. Although showing encouraging pace for Sauber, Sutil had a slightly worrying moment when a piece of bodywork flew off the car at high speed approaching the Turn 6 hairpin.

Having completed just four laps in FP1 at Silverstone due to an engine issue, Susie Wolff endured a worrying start to the session as an issue on her installation lap forced her to crawl back to the pits in first gear. However, Williams was able to rectify the problem quickly and she was able to complete a total of 22 laps, with a best time of 1:20.76 leaving Wolff just 0.227s slower than team-mate Felipe Massa.

Giedo van der Garde was the only other reserve driver taking part in FP1 as he replaced Esteban Gutierrez at Sauber despite having a big accident at the end of the in-season test at Silverstone last week. Van der Garde completed 23 laps as he finished the session in 16th place – 0.3s off Sutil's best.

The absence of FRIC was noticeable in the first half of the session as numerous drivers ran wide at the slower corners such as Turn 2 and Turn 8. While there were few obvious differences as a result of teams not running the system, Lotus appeared to struggle as both cars were around a second off the pace of the midfield.



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