Stoppage can’t keep Rosberg from fastest time

2015 British Grand Prix first practice

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Nico Rosberg headed the first practice session for the British Grand Prix despite being halted for much of it by a hydraulic problem.

Rosberg had just five laps on the board and was on a flying lap when he reported his brake pedal had gone long, gear shifts had become “very bad” and “a lot of lights went on on my steering wheel”.

When the reply came to stop the car because of a “loss of hydraulic pressure” a surprised Rosberg asked “stop on track – right now?” The decision was confirmed and as the car was recovered Rosberg was able to return to the track in the final five minutes.

He continued to report very harsh gear changes when shifting up after returning to the track during the final five minutes. However his final effort was quick enough to beat team mate Lewis Hamilton by just seven-hundredths of a second.

Hamilton’s start to the session wasn’t trouble-free either as the Mercedes driver spun at the exit of Stowe. He and Rosberg ended practice over a second quicker than the fastest time seen in the same session last year.

Max Verstappen was ‘best of the rest’ behind the Mercedes, albeit one-and-a-quarter seconds slower than the W06s. Team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr ensured both their cars were in the top five, however Rosberg was unhappy with one of them who he accused of “dangerous” driving. “He started to do a bite point in front of me, just slowed down suddenly two corners before the end,” Rosberg reported on the radio.

A late improvement by Kimi Raikkonen split the two Toro Rossos, while Sebastian Vettel put the other Ferrari sixth. Raikkonen’s running was also disrupted during the final half hour when the team detected a problem with his MGU-H and called him back into the pits.

Nico Hulkenberg’s updated Force India took ninth behind the two Red Bulls. Felipe Massa completed the top ten ahead of Felipe Nasr, while both their team mates handed their cars over to test drivers for this session. Raffaele Marciello drove the Sauber while two British drivers – Susie Wolff and Williams and Jolyon Palmer at Lotus – got to run in front of their home crowd.

Both McLaren drivers spend long periods in the garage due to various problems. Jenson Button only set his first lap time during the final five minutes, and complained about being held up by Sergio Perez at one stage.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’34.27412
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’34.3440.07026
333Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’35.5301.25618
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’35.5881.31421
555Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’35.6691.39533
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’35.7391.46517
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’35.8181.54426
826Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’35.8761.60222
927Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’36.1571.88328
1019Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’36.4692.19523
1112Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’36.8552.58120
1211Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’36.8892.61526
1341Susie WolffWilliams-Mercedes1’37.2422.96819
1430Jolyon PalmerLotus-Mercedes1’37.2622.98826
1536Raffaele MarcielloSauber-Ferrari1’37.3723.09817
1613Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’38.0803.8068
1714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’38.2223.94812
1822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’38.8604.58610
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’38.9814.70723
2098Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’40.4776.20323

First practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’34.274

+0.070 Lewis Hamilton – 1’34.344

+1.256 Max Verstappen – 1’35.530

+1.314 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’35.588

+1.395 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’35.669

+1.465 Sebastian Vettel – 1’35.739

+1.544 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’35.818

+1.602 Daniil Kvyat – 1’35.876

+1.883 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’36.157

+2.195 Felipe Massa – 1’36.469

+2.581 Felipe Nasr – 1’36.855

+2.615 Sergio Perez – 1’36.889

+2.968 Susie Wolff – 1’37.242

+2.988 Jolyon Palmer – 1’37.262

+3.098 Raffaele Marciello – 1’37.372

+3.806 Pastor Maldonado – 1’38.080

+3.948 Fernando Alonso – 1’38.222

+4.586 Jenson Button – 1’38.860

+4.707 Will Stevens – 1’38.981

+6.203 Roberto Merhi – 1’40.477

Author information

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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21 comments on “Stoppage can’t keep Rosberg from fastest time”

  1. Sean (@spaceman1861)
    3rd July 2015, 11:41

    Susie and Jolyon looking good :)

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      3rd July 2015, 12:01

      First time Susie got close to the competitive times. Not sure if that means she is improving or just showing the speed of the car (Williams are known to downplay their speed on Fridays).

      PS – a McLaren being ‘held up’ is not something we have heard a lot this season ;)

      1. Sean (@spaceman1861)
        3rd July 2015, 12:03

        True, How many runs has she actually had? there was an engine failure or something in one but that all I can remember.

      2. @coldfly I think she ran a similar pace in either the test or FP1 last year, the margin sounds familiar.

  2. @keithcollantine“Stoppage propelled Rosberg to fastest time” feels more appropriate.

    1. so hows roscoe doing this weekend ?

  3. ahhh that plot would’ve looked so exiting without the first 2 results….

    1. *exciting

    2. +1 so true

  4. I would have been impressed if Rosberg had gone a lot faster than Hamilton, to be only 0.07 secs up after the track had been “rubbered in” for an extra hour in FP1 is nothing.

  5. Is it a car.. Is it an Austin allegro… No it’s a McLaren

  6. No doubt this isn’t the first time the visual gaps have been used but nice one Keith, adds another interesting dimension. Keep up the good work that man.

  7. Epic Fail from Mclaren.

    The Manors have actually made more progress than Mclaren this season, and it could be a matter of a couple of more races before Stevens and Merhi are racing their compatriots and former WDCs.

  8. Mercedes are now under investigation for covering Rosberg’s car after he stopped:

  9. What happened to Merhi? (I don’t recall seeing much of him during FP1 either)/

  10. Calculated cost/benefit by Merc I can only suppose.

  11. excellent lap by Rosberg, showing his true pace over Hamilton.

    1. You mean last year and this year when he was slower then Hamilton he wasn’t showing his true pace?

      As he lost the WDC last year, he is leaving it a bit late.

      1. in my opinion last year Rosberg was not at his best and was making to many mistakes.
        But since Spain this year, his seemed to have an edge over Hamilton.
        3 Wins out of 4 Races

  12. Hamilton’s start to the session wasn’t been trouble-free either

    My English is pretty bad but I suppose that’s either “wasn’t” or “hasn’t been”? @keithcollantine

  13. There is a fun to read interview:

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