Hamilton tops opening practice in Spain for Mercedes

F12014GP05ESP_JK1554510Lewis Hamilton underlined his Mercedes team’s advantage with fastest in the opening practice session in Barcelona, as F1 resumed after a three week hiatus.

Hamilton topped the morning practice with a best lap of 1:27.023, set in the dying moments of the session, with former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo the only men able to get within a second of the Mercedes star’s best time.

Button had topped the time sheets for a large part of the session, until a late flurry from Hamilton with five minutes remaining saw the 2008 snatch the top spot, eight tenths faster than his compatriot.

Ricciardo ended the morning third overall, two tenths up on local favourite Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, while a power unit issue for Nico Rosberg confined the German to fifth fastest, with the Mercedes man able to complete just nine laps in the hour and a half long practice.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth overall in the second Ferrari, with Kevin Magnussen less than a tenth shy in seventh.

Pastor Maldonado gave his Lotus team something to smile about with eighth, while Sergio Perez – who in a bizarre incident lost his left-hand wing mirror early in the session – and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten for Force India and Williams respectively.

Sauber’s reserve driver Giedo van der Garde – standing in for Esteban Gutierrez in FP1 – was involved in a dramatic incident when he suffered a brakes failure going into turn one, the Dutchman narrowly avoiding the barriers as he skated across the run-off.

Sebastian Vettel ended the opening practice 20th after an electrical issue saw him stop out on track after just 25 minutes of running, and with just four laps completed.

Free Practice One – Classification

1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:27.023 – 17 laps

2. Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:27.891  +0.868 – 26 laps

3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull-Renault – 1:27.973  +0.950 – 21 laps

4. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:28.128  +1.105 – 23 laps

5. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:28.168  +1.145 –  9 laps

6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:28.337  +1.314 – 19 laps

7. Kevin Magnussen – McLaren-Mercedes – 1:28.423  +1.400 – 27 laps

8. Pastor Maldonado – Lotus-Renault – 1:28.744  +1.721 – 34 laps

9. Sergio Perez – Force India-Mercedes – 1:28.779  +1.756 – 18 laps

10. Felipe Massa – Williams-Mercedes – 1:28.791  +1.768 – 13 laps

11. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso-Renault – 1:28.792  +1.769 – 24 laps

12. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India-Mercedes – 1:28.828  +1.805 – 17 laps

13. Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso-Renault – 1:28.859  +1.836 –  24 laps

14. Felipe Nasr – Williams-Mercedes – 1:29.272  +2.249 – 15 laps

15. Adrian Sutil – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:29.688  +2.665 –  16 laps

16. Jules Bianchi – Marussia-Ferrari – 1:29.820  +2.797 –  22 laps

17. Romain Grosjean – Lotus-Renault – 1:29.444  +2.421 – 21 laps

18. Giedo van der Garde – Sauber-Ferrari – 1:30.440  +3.417 –  21 laps

19. Max Chilton – Marussia-Ferrari – 1:30.748  +3.725 – 19 laps

20. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault – 1:30.942  +3.919 – 4 laps

21. Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham-Renault – 1:30.997  +3.974 – 22 laps

22. Marcus Ericsson – Caterham-Renault – 1:31.421  +4.398 – 22 laps

Image courtesy of Daimler

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