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Nico Rosberg has topped first free practice for the German Grand Prix as F1 turned its first wheel at the Hockenheimring in two years with Mercedes very much in charge.

The German hit the front with a rapid super-soft lap midway through the session, stopping the clock at 1min 15.517s to place him a comfortable three tenths up on Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

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With Rosberg going more than a second quicker than his pole-winning lap from 2014, Mercedes would in turn command a plus-second advantage over the chasing pack, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen hauling Ferrari into third and fourth as Red Bull filled fifth and sixth with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Having established itself as the fourth quickest team last time out in Hungary, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button furthered McLaren-Honda's positive run of recent form by locking out seventh and eighth, albeit with the latter four tenths behind as he complained about braking.

Split by just 0.036s to complete the top ten, Daniil Kvyat led Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz, with Marcus Ericsson up into an eye-catching 11th position in the Sauber on the super-soft tyres.

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Starting second and third in Germany two years ago, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa endured a disappointing start to the day for Williams in 12th and 13th, the Finn suffering a spin at the hairpin.

Romain Grosjean was another to have an off-track moment in the closing stages en route to 14th place, while FP1 stand-in Charles Leclerc impressed again just three tenths off his more experienced Haas counterpart. Esteban Ocon was 20th quickest for Renault in his latest FP1 outing, two tenths behind Kevin Magnussen.

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