Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton in 1st practice at Austrian Grand Prix
Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Hamilton to the quickest time in the first practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.
Image Credit: Getty Images.
Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in the first practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.
The German driver, who is 17 points behind championship leader Hamilton after seven races, clocked a best lap of 1 minute, 10.401 seconds, making him .308 faster than Hamilton, and .627 quicker than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, who finished third in last year's race, was one second behind in fourth.
It was a short session for four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, who managed only four laps. With 20 minutes gone, Vettel came off the track with smoke pouring from his front brakes, and needed a tow.
"I lost drive in fourth gear," Vettel said on race radio.
He will hope to be back out for second practice later Friday.
Felipe Massa secured pole position for Williams last year — the only driver to beat Mercedes to pole all season — and the Brazilian showed his reflexes are in fine shape. Thirty minutes into the session, he slammed the brakes on as Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene accidentally walked out in front of him in the pit lane.
There was no harm done, as a smiling Arrivabene quickly scampered out of the way, and Massa waved to him.
Fernando Alonso, who has retired in the past three races, got off to a typically tough start when his McLaren sustained an engine problem, forcing the Spaniard back into the garage early on. He eventually came back out, and seemed in good spirits when he hugged a team engineer after the end of the session.
The two-time F1 champion has yet to score a point, as McLaren continues to struggle since making the transition back to Honda engines this season.
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