Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had the fastest laps as Mercedes dominated the first practice for the German Grand Prix on Friday. Rosberg’s best time on the Hockenheimring track was 1 minute, 19.131 seconds, beating teammate Hamilton by 0.065.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third, trailing Hamilton by 0.227, followed by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren’s Jensen Button, and Sebastian Vettel, who was quickest in the first half hour for Red Bull.
Kimi Raikkonen was beset with water pump problems early on, but Ferrari fixed the problem and the Finn emerged to set the eighth fastest time behind McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen.
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Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Sauber’s Adrian Sutil completed the top 10.
Williams test driver Susie Wolff finished within a quarter of a second of regular driver Felipe Massa after she was hit by calibration issues on her opening lap.
Massa, who turned very wide and hit the kerb on the first turn, finished 11th, followed by Jean-Eric Vergne in the second Toro Rosso, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez of Force India, and then Wolff.
Turns 1 and 8 proved the most problematic on a morning of minor errors. Alonso was among a number of drivers to run off the track at the eighth turn.
The drivers had to adjust to the removal of the front and rear interconnected suspension from their cars after FIA said the system could be illegal. All teams opted to remove the system rather than run the risk of docked points.
Rosberg leads Hamilton by just four points going into Sunday’s race at the halfway stage of the season.