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Nico Rosberg tops Practice 1 at Albert Park

Speedcafe.com

Friday 13th March, 2015 - 2:13pm

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Nico Rosberg set the quickest time in opening practice at Albert Park

Nico Rosberg set the quickest time in opening practice at Albert Park

Mercedes confirmed its considerable advantage when Nico Rosberg burst to the top of the times in opening practice for the Rolex Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The defending Constructor’s and Driver’s champion outfit saw Rosberg clock 1:29.557s to shade world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s 1:29.586s.

Mirroring the pre-season test form on medium compound Pirelli tyres, the Silver Arrows were more than a second ahead of third best Valtteri Bottas in the Williams.

Toro Rosso had a promising run with Carlos Sainz (fourth) and Max Verstappen (sixth) split by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after clocking the most laps of all the runners.

Felipe Massa was seventh ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Pastor Maldonado.

Daniel Ricciardo entered the track for the first time 40 minutes into the session, posting the 12th fastest time in the Red Bull before ending Practice 1 in 10th.

Ricciardo reported that the driveability of his Red Bull had proved aggressive after spinning under braking into Turn 15.

Sauber’s campaign which has been stung with the ongoing court drama involving Dutchman Giedo van der Garde, saw its drivers Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson sit out the entire session.

McLaren Honda had a problematic session with Jenson Button (14th) and Kevin Magnussen (15th) cutting just six and seven laps each as the cars were struck with a ‘small’ mechanical issue with the power unit.

The Manor F1 squad (nee Marussia) failed to appear in the session as the team continued the complex task of rebuilding all of its software systems after preparing to offload all of its assets in the off-season for a sale which did not happen.

Manor’s ability to take part in the 2015 season was only confirmed just ahead of the Melbourne GP when its revised 2014 chassis for Will Stevens and Robert Merhi passed mandatory FIA crash tests.

See below for results of Formula 1 Practice 1

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

1’29.557

19

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1’29.586

0.029

19

Valtteri Bottas

Williams/Mercedes

1’30.748

1.191

20

Carlos Sainz Jr.

Toro Rosso/Renault

1’31.014

1.457

32

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1’31.029

1.472

13

Max Verstappen

Toro Rosso/Renault

1’31.067

1.510

31

Felipe Massa

Williams/Mercedes

1’31.188

1.631

19

Kimi Räikkönen

Ferrari

1’31.310

1.753

14

Pastor Maldonado

Lotus/Mercedes

1’31.451

1.894

22

10 

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull/Renault

1’31.570

2.013

9

11 

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull/Renault

1’32.073

2.516

18

12 

Sergio Pérez

Force India/Mercedes

1’32.247

2.690

22

13 

Nico Hülkenberg

Force India/Mercedes

1’32.261

2.704

19

14 

Jenson Button

McLaren/Honda

1’34.542

4.985

6

15 

Kevin Magnussen

McLaren/Honda

1’34.785

5.228

7

16

Romain Grosjean

Lotus/Mercedes

2’17.782

48.225

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