Nico Rosberg set the fastest time during first practice ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. By lapping around the epic track in 1:35.461, he was 0.151s fastest than his team mate and another 4 tenths ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.
Rosberg appeared to have a slight edge throughout the entire session while Hamilton was seen going wide a few times at the second of the Degner right hand corners. The latter on the other hand looked to have a slight edge during longer runs.
All eyes however were on Max Verstappen, the 17-year old who debuted for Toro Rosso. The balance was positive with the youngster ending up with a best lap time just 0.443s down on Kvyat, a respectable performance given he only drove a number of laps in an F1 car at Austria, the day before his announcement of his race seat for 2015 with the same team. Verstappen was given a high mileage engine for his run to not jeopardise Vergne for the remainder of the season, and 6 minutes from the end of the session, that power unit gave up, forcing Verstappen to park alongside the track at turn 6.
At the back of the field, Roberto Merhi was back in the car for Caterham, and even managed to go faster than both Marussia's. The team were upbeat about their new front wing and indeed appear to have found some speed over their nearest competitors.
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:37.466||2.005||27|
|9||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:37.686||2.225||26|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:38.324||2.863||10|
|14||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:38.582||3.121||9|