Lewis Hamilton led his teammate Nico Rosberg to put Mercedes at the top of the timesheets early in the Japanese Grand Prix weekend. The Red Bull drivers proved second fastest, ahead of both Ferraris and both Lotus cars.
The session was troublefree for most, except for Pastor Maldonado. He completed only part of the session as his Williams threw away the left rear wheel at Spoon curve, soon after leaving the pits.
Marussia's Jules Bianchi was caught out at Degner 2 and ended up head on in the tyre wall. He later reported that his elbow got stuck against the chassis, making it unable for his to turn and subsequently driving into the tyre barrier. Bianchi left the car unhurt, but the incident surely is something to look into. The Frenchman's incident also made it impossible tot compete in FP2 as the team had to rebuild a car around the spare chassis.
Giedo van der Garde was another off-roader at the same tricky Degner 2 corner. He did get his car under control in time before hitting anything.
During this session, all drivers set their times on the orange hard Pirelli tyre. Running on the softer option compound has traditionally been saved for the second session of the day.
|1||10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:34.157||-||19|
|2||9||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:34.487||0.330||19|
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:34.768||0.611||24|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:34.787||0.630||20|
|14||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.165||2.008||19|
|17||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.399||2.242||18|
|21||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:38.025||3.868||15|