As the Formula One 2014 Championship season finally roared to life today at Melbourne Park with the first free practice session of the Australian GP, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso ended on top of the time sheets. The Spaniard was followed by Jenson Button and Valtteri Bottas.
Following some installation laps with Ricciardo topping the timesheets, it was Fernando Alonso who took charge half an hour into the session, going fastest on the medium tyre. Button briefly took that position back but saw Alonso with another improvement take definite lead of the timesheet for this session thanks to another 7 tenths improvement on his time.
The Williams duo meanwhile ran faultlessly to a third and fourth fastest time while early season favourites Mercedes enjoyed mixed fortunes. Nico Rosberg completed 17 laps and was 6th fastest but teammate Lewis Hamilton was stuck in the garage for most of the session, completing merely two laps before finding a car issue.
At Toro Rosso problems with the brake-by-wire system continued even though the team managed to get its drivers going for a good amount of laps. Caterham drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson were hit with respective fuel and electrical issues on their install laps, while Pastor Maldonado gave the Lotus E22 its only run shortly before the chequered flag.
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1m32.599s||+0.759s||26|
|6.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1m32.604s||+0.764s||17|
|7.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1m32.793s||+0.953s||10|
|10.||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m33.446s||+1.606s||30|
|11.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1m33.533s||+1.693s||23|
|12.||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1m33.855s||+2.015s||24|
|13.||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m34.272s||+2.432s||27|
|19.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||-||-||1|