Mercedes AMG have immediately took charge of the German Grand Prix weekend by comfortably topping the timesheet of first practice at the Nurburgring. In a session where everybody ran the harder tyre, closest competitor Mark Webber was more than a full second down.
The start of the session is an immediate blow for Ferrari as the Ferrari F138 of Alonso comes to a halt on track during the installation lap. The car is returned to the team 20 minutes later, but this may effectively end the session for Alonso, at a moment when Ferrari planned to evaluate some aerodynamic components to analyse why the team struggled at Silverstone.
Lewis Hamilton meanwhile is the first to set a laptime, albeit a very slow one of 2:16.935.
One hour into the session, there's finally some action on the track with Button, Grosjean, Webber and Perez setting more reasonable times, all on the medium tyre.
45 minutes into the session, Alonso is on track again, but halfway through his lap reports the problem is not solved. Ferrari confirmed it is an electrical issue, subsequently calling the Spaniard back into the pits. Contrary to his first run though, Alonso continues to drive the car to return to the pits. 5 minutes later, the team is working avidly on the Ferrari while similar work starts on Massa's car as well.
At the same time there appears to be a problem with the DRS system. Several teams have warned their drivers about the problem.
The last 30 minutes many drivers start doing some longer runs with nobody yet having used the soft tyre. Many however lock up the inner front tyre into turn 1 although none have issues, apart from some vibrations due to flat spotting the tyres slightly.
Both Mercedes cars have in the meantime taken the top of the timesheets. Hamilton is three tenths ahead of his team mate while Mark Webber is a full second down on the Briton. At the end of the Mercedes' longer stints, Rosberg even improved to get closed to Hamilton, even though his medium tyres were 20 laps old.
|11.||P. di Resta||1:33.493||1.739||30.8||38.8||23.7||8|
|20.||G. van der Garde||1:36.078||4.324||31.5||40.1||24.3||8|