Rosberg quickest despite pit entry slip-up

2015 Spanish Grand Prix first practice

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Nico Rosberg led the way during the first practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix but attracted the attention of the stewards as he did.

Rosberg pipped team mate Lewis Hamilton to the top time by just seven-hundredths of a second. However on one of his returns to the pits he failed to stay to the left of the bollard at the pit lane entrance. He is being investigated by the stewards but any sanction is likely to be lenient.

The Mercedes pair were the best part of a second quicker than anything else on track during the first 90 minutes of running at the Circuit de Catalunya. Sebastian Vettel was third with Kimi Raikkonen a close fourth, despite the latter complaining at one stage about poor front-end grip on his car.

The Toro Rosso pair were next, Carlos Sainz Jnr ahead of Max Verstappen, the latter complaining he had been held up by Raikkonen on one of his runs.

Daniil Kvyat, seventh, was the only Red Bull driver to lap for much of the session. Daniel Ricciardo reported a problem with power delivery on full throttle during his first run, and didn’t set a time until the final five minutes of running while his car was worked on by the team.

Ricciardo eventually set a time quick enough for ninth ahead of Felipe Nasr, Nico Hulkenberg and the three test drivers: Raffaele Marciello for Sauber, Jolyon Palmer for Lotus and Susie Wolff for Williams.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’26.82828
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.8980.07027
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’27.8060.97821
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’27.8321.00416
555Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’28.1321.30427
633Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’28.5291.70123
726Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’28.7851.9577
819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’28.8312.00321
93Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’29.0752.2479
1012Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’29.1402.31214
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’29.4092.58120
1236Raffaele MarcielloSauber-Ferrari1’29.6302.80215
1330Jolyon PalmerLotus-Mercedes1’29.6762.84821
1441Susie WolffWilliams-Mercedes1’29.7082.88022
1514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’29.8132.98522
1622Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’29.8172.98922
1711Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’30.0963.26819
1813Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’30.1103.2827
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’32.4715.64322
2098Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’32.6475.81920

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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33 comments on “Rosberg quickest despite pit entry slip-up”

  1. Ferrari is a second slower, I hope this doesn’t happen in Qualy and the Race or it will be a very boring race weekend. But Vettel did say that Ferrari will use their 1st engine in Friday running “until it stop working”.

    The Bulls are still behind the Rossos.

    The Williams aren’t impressing. The McLarens are having some problems.

    But it’s just FP1, so no conclusion at the moment.

    1. Might also be that Ferrari were busy mainly with checking their new aero package @ducpham2708, don’t you think? I hope so, a second is a bit much :)

    2. Ferrari were among the slowest in the speedtraps, so I’m having some hopes. Although Rosberg’s quickest lap on the first half of the session was also only 319km/h on the speedtrap.

    3. Keith’s article from a couple months ago about Mercedes dominance in 2014 showed that Spain was the track where Mercedes had their biggest advantage in qualifying all year, with an advantage of 1.24s in qualifying. They also finished 50 seconds ahead of third place in the race.

      I don’t expect their advantage to be quite that big this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of their very strongest tracks of the year – given that the W06 is an evolution of the 2014 car, and therefore will probably have similar advantages and disadvantages.

      1. pxcmerc (@)
        8th May 2015, 12:03

        Lewis best time last year in qualifying was a 1:25.232

        the cars/tires are significantly faster this year. should probably see times in the 23 second range if conditions improve. Mercedes have the clear advantage, at least half a second, all they should have to do is lead at the beginning of the race and spoil the air behind them to leave Ferrari 3 and 4.

    4. Don’t worry, the Mercs aren’t 1 sec faster than Ferrari.
      Vettel had PBs and was just 0.1 down after S2, then he backed off and lost 1.3 sec in S3. That would’ve been a very good lap and about 0.3 behind Rosberg.

      Mercedes should still have the edge over Ferrari, but it remains to be seen by how much.

      1. pxcmerc (@)
        8th May 2015, 12:05

        he didn’t back off, he made a mistake going in through the last few turns. & the lap times are pretty slow with respect to fastest laps. Merc have it comfortably.

  2. amazing how close team mates are !
    mercedes .08
    ferrari .03
    McLaren .01
    RBR .3 [ riccardo only had 5 minutes running ]
    toro rosso .4
    manor .2
    early days so even more surprising

  3. Nice outings for both Jolyon Palmer who was faster than Maldonado and Raffaele Marciello- who was just half a second slower than Nasr in his first outing ever in an F1 car.

    It could well be possible that Palmer was on different program than Maldonado, but still finishing ahead of him looks good.

    As for the gap between Mercs & Ferrari, I think it would be about 2-3 tenths in Mercs favour. Vettel was just a tenth slower than Rosberg in his last flying lap uptil S2 ( track was more rubbered in) but i feel this will be the difference between them.

    1. it’s also interesting to note how bunched together were all the non-championship drivers. 12-13-14 =))

      1. Yep very close :) But it tells more about Marciello and Palmer than Wolff as she was driving a much faster Williams

        1. yeah, i just didn’t mention it being afraid of the feminists jumping on and ripping my throat out ;)

    2. @mjf1fan Not the first time for Marciello in F1 car. He drove Sauber C34 at Malaysian GP FP1.

      1. Oh yes, I remember it now. Thanks for correcting me.
        @njoydesign I should run for hiding now? :P

        1. @mjf1fan seems like we lucked out this time, they didn’t notice)))

  4. BTW, only a handful of drivers did any sort of a long stint. Of those, ROS looked faster than HAM, while MAS was quicker than both of them, consistently doing under 1:29s.

    1. I meant to say under 1:30s…

  5. I found the McLaren livery quite good looking around the circuit, confirming the good impression I had from the pictures. Of course, this is just aesthetics, and three seconds behind is still a lot.

    The McLaren seemed quite oversteery (Button complaining, Alonso’s u-turn) in this session, could it be due to the new front wing?

    1. To be honest, whenever I saw Mclaren, I thought it was a back marker team and not The Mclaren we know. No sponsers, black livery with some lining of red….it looked imcomplete :/

      1. @mjf1fan It looked….HRT?

        1. @davidnotcoulthard Yes it looks like HRT of 2010.
          Yesterday I saw on instagram, one had posted the revised Mclaren livery replacing the black with white and it looked so good. Here is the link

          1. Wrong link… Heres the correct one

  6. Hahahaha, beaten by a girl. Not looking so dynamic or predatory now are you, Ron?

    1. Actually I think Susie is a bit slow, with the Williams she could have gotten way higher than where she is.

    2. Bit of a boysie, sexist comment doncha think @bullfrog?

      1. Replace Susie/she/her with Bottas/he/him in @ducpham2708 statement. Does it sound boysie/sexist still? Nope, not even close…

        It’s a fair observation @lockup. I think you jumped the gun with the labelling, mate.

        1. Oops, missed the @bullfrog reference:). My bad…

  7. Lewisham Milton
    8th May 2015, 11:52

    The bollard hasn’t ruled out that it was put in a position of extreme danger by Rosberg, according to someone close to a Mercedes. Tomorrow on Planet Zog, Christian Horner will deny this.

  8. Michal (@michal2009b)
    8th May 2015, 12:09

    So slow these turbo-charged cars, barely any faster than last years’. But still only FP1, however if that will be a case in quali then the progress made with these new cars is almost zero. Surprising and disappointing.

    1. The slower lap times compared to the old cars has nothing to do with the engine (Especially round this circuit), Its all down to aero & tyres.

      They saw a big reduction in downforce last year (This circuit is very aero dependent because of the long corners) & they also started using harder compounds because of the increased torque of these new power units.

      In terms of engine performance, These new V6 Turbo hybrids are faster than the previous V8s. They accelerate faster (Because of the Turbo & ERS systems) & have been hitting higher top speeds.

    2. Barcelona is mostly about downforce, so the gains in the PU department won’t have much of an impact on the lap times here. The small improvement over last year is largely because development of the most important factor at Barcelona, the chassis, from last year to this year has been hurt by the changes in the nose regulations – which have cost downforce and thus limited chassis gains.

      We will be more likely to see large gains in laptime at places where the engine is more important, such as Monza.

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