Mercedes lead Alonso as usual in first practice

2014 German Grand Prix first practice

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Silverstone test, 2014The first practice session for the German Grand Prix ran to its usual 2014 form with the Mercedes drivers on top and Fernando Alonso close behind in the Ferrari.

Nico Rosberg set the fastest time with a best lap of 1’19.131 on a hot morning at the Hockenheimring which saw track temperatures reach 44C.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton was fractionally slower than Rosberg – the pair separated by 0.065 seconds. But on more than one occasion Hamilton, running close behind Rosberg, caught his team mate at the end of the lap and lost time in the final sector as a result.

Hamilton’s final run was disrupted due to technical problem – he reported a loss of power and returned to the pits after a single lap, but did return to the circuit later on.

Alonso was less than three tenths of a second slower than the silver duo, continuing Ferrari’s run of strong Friday performances. But team mate Kimi Raikkonen was delayed by a water pump problem on his car early on.

Among the other drivers experiencing technical problems was Romain Grosjean, whose DRS jammed open on the approach to the Spitzkehre.

Susie Wolff was back at the wheel of the Williams and to begin with it looked as though she was in for a repeat of her Silverstone disappointment. She reported an upshift problem early in the lap and crawled back to the pits. However this time the fault was quickly rectified and she ended the session two-tenths of a second off team mate Felipe Massa.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’19.131 29
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’19.196 0.065 25
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’19.423 0.292 21
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’19.697 0.566 27
5 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’19.833 0.702 24
6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’20.097 0.966 28
7 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’20.105 0.974 32
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’20.210 1.079 21
9 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’20.337 1.206 28
10 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’20.505 1.374 18
11 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’20.542 1.411 19
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’20.586 1.455 23
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’20.592 1.461 22
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’20.598 1.467 24
15 41 Susie Wolff Williams-Mercedes 1’20.769 1.638 22
16 36 Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1’20.782 1.651 23
17 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’21.603 2.472 20
18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’21.854 2.723 30
19 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’22.572 3.441 31
20 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’22.982 3.851 24
21 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’23.256 4.125 35
22 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’23.299 4.168 22

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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40 comments on Mercedes lead Alonso as usual in first practice

  1. gatekiller (@gatekiller) said on 18th July 2014, 10:35

    Glad to see Susie setting competitive times.

  2. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 18th July 2014, 10:45

    That’s not a bad effort by Wolff at all. Yes she probably knows this track very well but 0.2s behind your team mate who has 203GP weekends to his name is not bad one bit.

    • MattDS said on 18th July 2014, 11:26

      The thing is though that FP1 is not a competitive session at all. Come Q3 on Saturday Massa will be a lot quicker, while we have no idea how Susie was running and how close to potential she was.

      I’m not necessarily slating Susie or saying she’s slow, mind you. Just being realistic.

      • kpcart said on 18th July 2014, 12:11

        your ”being realistic” was still talking her down sorry.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 18th July 2014, 12:19

          It’s difficult not to talk down a driver who has never won a race outside of karting.

        • MattDS said on 18th July 2014, 12:28

          I’m sorry, but that’s not true. I’m not talking her up, that’s true, but that doesn’t mean I’m talking her down.

          For all I know she was running the exact same way as Massa and she is capable of nearly the same lap times when pushing to the max. I’m not judging on that. All I’m saying is that FP1 results are not a good guide to draw any meaningful conclusions.

        • Wolff-fan-1 said on 18th July 2014, 21:07

          @kpcart that is

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 18th July 2014, 11:37

      @craig-o the gap to her team-mate was less than Vettel was behind his!

    • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 18th July 2014, 11:53

      Soft tires, empty fuel tanks, qualifying run. All the while massa may have been testing new parts on the car with race fuel. If this was qualifying session I’d say hire her already but it is free practise and drivers can move up or down massively depending what the team are doing with the car.

      • kpcart said on 18th July 2014, 12:08

        you say all that, but cant put one positive forward – do you hate women? most male drivers don’t get this kind of anti commentary when they do a one of Friday practise and get this close to their teammates.
        she did very well, what more did she need to do to impress people?? she did what was expected, the team wanted her within .5 of a second of massa, that was her only goal, and she achieved it.

        • Breno (@austus) said on 18th July 2014, 12:18

          But male drivers dont get into F1 because of their plumbing, they get into F1 because of their money. Susie has done nothing to prove she should be in F1, if anything, she’ll be remembered as “the woman who got into F1 and totally sucked”.

        • Baron (@baron) said on 18th July 2014, 12:21

          Everything is fine, don’t worry so much dear boy….

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 18th July 2014, 12:24

          most male drivers don’t get this kind of anti commentary

          Most male drivers have more pedigree. Those that don’t are just ignored when they do the odd practice, and if somebody does praise them it is often pointed out how unrepresentative of anything it is same as is happening now. It is possible to actually be keen to see change while criticising this one woman.

          ‘Do hate hate women?’ Do you have a sense of context and perspective?

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 18th July 2014, 13:19

          Considering her results in other categories, there is nothing to suggest that Wolff is anything special. It is not the slightest bit unfair to point out that a decent lap time may be that – or it may be that her team mate was running a different programme and the times are not remotely comparable.

          It’s for these same reasons I’m not wetting myself with excitement that Alonso is only three tenths off the Mercs. It’s practice and times aren’t representative.

          I guess being logical and not treating her performances any differently means I automatically hate women too? What positives should we be putting forward here? Saying well done, she got the car round the track? Now that’s patronising due to her gender. She’s a professional and most on this site will compare her to the 21 others she is performing against.

          • MattDS said on 18th July 2014, 13:25

            I guess being logical and not treating her performances any differently means I automatically hate women too?

            Very much this. I look at her performances like I would look at any driver’s performances.

            I struggle to understand why positive discrimination is necessary in order NOT to be called out at as a person who hates women. Because I don’t hate women. I’ll just treat them equally.

        • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 18th July 2014, 15:49

          Do I hate women? Is that a question or personal attack? I’ll assume it is indeed a question…

          Well, let’s put it this way. Suzie has not been fast in anything she has driven. She has never won anything and she has been beaten constantly by faster team mates. By F1 standards she is slow. She is slow because she doesn’t have what it takes to be competitive in F1. But she is only in F1 because she is a she. Is she slow because she is a woman? No. I think 100% that woman can be just as fast and faster as man in motorsports. Mentally, physically, competitivelly, whatever.

          I think F1 should have women drivers who make it there because of skill and ability. Suzie is not that. Simona De Silvestro on the other hand… Even danica would totally blow suzie away.

          You want me to say something positive about suzie? She is pretty, she is probably a very nice person. But as a driver in F1 she is without a doubt the slowest one there.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th July 2014, 10:51

    It was good to see the drivers are having to work to keep the cars going where they want them to. To me it looked a bit like both Mercedes drivers were hiding a bit to each-other, with Hamilton in the last sector and Rosberg being quite slow in the 2nd sector.

    Ferrari will drop back a bit, Red Bull is still close. But Marussia doesn’t look as close to the midfield as they have been recently.

  4. Hans Herrmann (@twentyseven) said on 18th July 2014, 10:51

    When the first female driver gets a full time drive in F1 I wonder will her team mate feel the extra pressure of “not getting beaten by a girl”. F1 drivers egos, inflated as they are this could caus ea major ego bow-out if a driver gets dominated.

    Respect to Susie BTW, right up there in unfamiliar machinery!

    • mrvco said on 18th July 2014, 14:10

      If a driver is getting dominating by his teammate in F1, then that says it all. Male or female is irrelevant at that point.

      I think the opposite situation would be more problematic, where an underperforming female driver moves up through the ranks.

  5. GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 18th July 2014, 11:04

    Not too surprised to see Susie Wolff do as well as she did because I’ve always felt she was a very good driver.

    I recall 10 years ago when she was in the lower categories (Formula Renault & F3) she picked up some good results including a couple podiums against some good competition (Lewis Hamilton been 1 of them).
    The only reason she fell off the open wheel radar was because she broke her ankle in 2005 & it kind of killed her career’s momentum in terms of open wheel, Ending up in DTM didn’t help either.

    I also know that a number of guys who worked with in F.Renault & F3 were full of praise for her as were the guys from the BRDC McLaren Autosport program who were looking at her in 2003 & who voted her Rising Star of the Year.

    • MattDS said on 18th July 2014, 11:36

      The only reason she fell off the open wheel radar was because she broke her ankle in 2005 & it kind of killed her career’s momentum in terms of open wheel

      And that was the only reason? 3 seasons in Formula Renault UK and not a single win. There isn’t a single driver currently in F1 who did worse in his first few seasons of single seater racing. Even those that get slated for only being there “because of their money” did better than that.

      • kpcart said on 18th July 2014, 12:12

        because in lower series they were also their because of money, and had great cars :P give the girl a break, she just finished 15th in an official f1 practice session, I bet you couldn’t do that.

        • MattDS said on 18th July 2014, 12:37

          because in lower series they were also their because of money, and had great cars

          Formula Renault UK and British F3 provide each driver with the same car and the same opportunities to set it up and get results.

          give the girl a break, she just finished 15th in an official f1 practice session, I bet you couldn’t do that.

          Why are you so overly defensive? I did not agree with GT Racer’s comment as if that was the only reason why she wasn’t in single seaters anymore by correctly pointing out that her single seater resume up until then was far from stellar and, in fact, much worse than anyone now currently in F1.

          Again that is not talking her down, it is merely being realistic. If being realistic about ones achievements is being perceived as talking someone down, then that is pretty telling about said person’s achievements.

          And no, I couldn’t do that. I’m not an F1 racing driver, nor am I paid as an F1 racing driver. But this is not about me, it’s about Susie. And unless you are trying to make a point that only people that have been in F1 can comment on people that have been (or are) in F1, I fail to see how this is relevant. My opinion is validated by facts. If you disagree, you are free to point out errors in my logic, or evidence of the contrary. That’s how discussions work, not firing low blows on a personal level.

    • rez (@rez0) said on 18th July 2014, 11:48

      @gt-racer Come on, “ending up in DTM didn’t help either”… what is this?

      Sure, she might be a good driver but her performance in relation to her team mates was still underwhelming. They had the same material (usually not the newest) but often still managed to beat her soundly. Take 2009/2010 when she was paired with Jamie Green. He achieved 2 wins (4 podiums altogether) and finished 6th/7th in the championship. Meanwhile Susie Wolff finished 13th and 16th, with two 7th places as her best results.

      I wasn’t following DTM very closely during that period and can’t remember any good reason which would explain that difference… except of course that Green is just the better driver (and I don’t even rate him that highly).

      • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 18th July 2014, 12:15

        The thing with the current DTM cars is that they require a very specific driving style to get them to work in part because of how far back the driver sits in them giving a very different feel for what the rear of the car is doing.

        There have been a number of very good open wheel drivers (Including F1 race winners/Front runners) who moved to DTM & found the transition a real struggle. Look at Timo Glock, He did well in F1 yet has found the results in DTM few & far between (Only 2 top1- finishes last year & again only 2 so far this year with his average finish around 15th).
        Mika Hakkinen struggled with DTM as did David Coulthard & Ralf Schumacjer, A 2x F1 world champion & 2 multiple F1 race winners.

        The drivers who run at the front regularly in DTM tend to be those who have been there long term & have been able to adapt to the very specific style you need in those cars.

        3 seasons in Formula Renault UK and not a single win.

        But look at her actual results & the actual performance she showed in those 3 years.

        The 1st year was a learning year in an underfunded single car team.
        In the 2nd year she moved to a better team, Regularly scored strong top 10’s including a podium.
        In the 2nd year it was much the same story, Strong, consistent results including 3 podiums.

        She did enough to be a finalist for the BRDC McLaren Autosport awards & as I said was voted Rising Star of the Year by that panel. The BRDC McLaren Autosport award is a very prestigious thing to even be in the running to win & they don’t just pick anyone to be a finalist, The fact she even made that list shows how well regarded she was at the time.

        And then there’s today. She turned up in a car she’s never driven at proper speed & got within 2 tenths of a very experienced, Highly regarded multiple race winning & former championship contending driver who knows that car intimately having raced it all year.

        Thats highly impressive, Worthy of praise & shows that she’s got a good level of talent.

        • BarnstableD (@barnstabled) said on 18th July 2014, 12:29

          It’s refreshing to read a comment on the subject that has some historical and technical knowledge behind it and not just based on assumptions and Wikipedia. Thanks.

        • MattDS said on 18th July 2014, 13:04

          The 1st year was a learning year in an underfunded single car team.
          In the 2nd year she moved to a better team, Regularly scored strong top 10′s including a podium.
          In the 2nd year it was much the same story, Strong, consistent results including 3 podiums.

          While all of this is true, you’re talking from the point of view of Formula Renault UK. “Strong, consistent results” in Formula Renault UK is not nearly enough to make it through the ranks. Look at all the drivers who finished in front of her during those 3 years. About 20 of them, and only 2 made it two F1: Hamilton and Di Resta. Hamilton had a “learning season” with multiple poles and wins, and dominated in the second season. Di Resta also won in his first season, then won multiple in his second. But he’s out of F1 already.

          Sorry, but averaging 8th position in your third season in a largely national entry-level single seater series is just not a great resume for going through the single seater ranks.

          And then there’s today. She turned up in a car she’s never driven at proper speed & got within 2 tenths of a very experienced, Highly regarded multiple race winning & former championship contending driver who knows that car intimately having raced it all year.

          … who can probably go WAY faster, as will probably be evidenced in Q3.
          Like I said, I’m just being realistic. For all we know this is all Massa could do and Susie had plenty of reserve. But Massa will probably prove to be a lot faster, and we’ll never know what times Susie can do at her max. Just to say how FP1 is not material to draw conclusions from.

          Thats highly impressive, Worthy of praise & shows that she’s got a good level of talent.

          I’m not denying she’s got “a good level” of talent. Anyone who can drive an F1 car around at speed has a good level of talent. I’m just not agreeing to call it “highly impressive” (as there are too much unknown factors”). And I’m saying that in F1 you don’t just need “a good level” of talent, but rather an exceptional level of talent. And it is my opinion that she hasn’t shown that.

          I agree with you about DTM though, and how it is fairly unrepresentative.

        • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 18th July 2014, 13:49

          @gt-racer

          She turned up in a car she’s never driven at proper speed & got within 2 tenths of a very experienced, Highly regarded multiple race winning & former championship contending driver who knows that car intimately having raced it all year.

          You forgot the fact that the simulator is a very good tool that helps drivers to adapt quickly to F1 cars, saying that she’s never driven the car at proper speed isn’t fair in my opinion. I liked your analysis which is based on facts about the DTM but is trogly disagree with you when you have said that she got a good level of talent.
          In my opinion, she doesn’t have any level of talent that will grantee her a F1 drive, to be honest many of us consider drivers like Sutil, Gutierezz and Chilton unworthy of a F1 seat and i think that they are far more talented and capable than Susie.
          If Susie was a man she won’t get near an F1 car (unless he is married to someone like Toto Wolf)

          • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 18th July 2014, 14:49

            In my opinion, she doesn’t have any level of talent

            The engineer’s, Mechanics & others who have worked closely with her through the years woudl strongly disagree with you on that.

            As I said in another discussion last week, Its those guys who have all of the data & know exactly whats going on who have a far greater understanding of where a drivers skill level is compared to us who just watch on TV & only look at the end results.

            I’ll go back to the BRDC McLaren Autosport award, They looked at every piece of data available & what they saw impressed them enough to make her an overall finalist & award her the rising star of the year award.

            As to the simulator, Its no substitute for the real thing so it still stands that in her 1st proper run in a 2014 F1 car she did a very impressive job.

          • MattDS said on 18th July 2014, 15:19

            @gt-racer:

            I’ll go back to the BRDC McLaren Autosport award, They looked at every piece of data available & what they saw impressed them enough to make her an overall finalist & award her the rising star of the year award.

            Honestly I think you place too much emphasis on this. It doesn’t hold promise for the future, and what exactly did they see then that was so special? She got it after her 2003 season in which she ended up behind her two full-time team-mates, one of which a rookie, the other also in his second season ending P2 at the end of the season.
            I can’t take it seriously as a true and objective measurement of which young driver did best.

            it still stands that in her 1st proper run in a 2014 F1 car she did a very impressive job.

            No, still not enough data to make that stand. She did a fine job, but as long as we don’t know how close to potential she was and how far Massa was off his potential, we can’t say anything more than that. What I’m very sure of is how that Williams could have gone quite a bit faster than it did.

          • Dizzy said on 18th July 2014, 17:35

            and people wonder why there are no women racing in f1.

            even when one gets into an f1 car and does a good job you have people going on & on about how the car could be faster & how she doesn’t deserve the chance & such.

            she got in the car today & did her first flying lap in the car & got within 2-3 tenths off her team mate in that session.
            that is a good job in my book & i actually think her performance warrants more time in the car.

          • MattDS said on 20th July 2014, 0:32

            @Dizzy: no women are racing in F1 because there are people that don’t look at her gender and actually try to assess her performance like they would for any other driver?

            I don’t get what you’re saying now. Are you implying that women are hyper-sensitive and can’t cope when their performances aren’t looked at through rose-tinted glasses?

            I think nobody is saying she didn’t do a “good” job”. Whether it was highly impressive though can only be judged with all factors known to us. If you disagree, just state your reasons for disagreeing instead of throwing a “females are always disadvantaged”-tantrum.

            I’ll state it differently: she did a 1:20.7 in a car that is capable of doing a 1:16.7. If she was going all-out, her time is not great at all (even taking into account the track got a bit faster). If she was on a heavy fuel-run and nog going all-out, then her performance would be better.

  6. JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 18th July 2014, 11:39

    But on more than one occasion Hamilton, running close behind Rosberg, caught his team mate at the end of the lap and lost time in the final sector as a result

    Perhaps he was practising for what seems to have become his usual Sunday afternoon situation after screwing up qualifying :p

  7. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 18th July 2014, 11:42

    Very glad to see Wolff put some strong times, good for her, good for women! Beware Perez, kitchen queens are only two tenths behind you …
    About FRIC, I haven’t noticed any difference in the pecking order yet. I don’t feel the Mercedes will be more affected than others by this measure.

  8. Michael C said on 18th July 2014, 12:01

    If you used the best sector times to create the ultimate lap time, Lewis would be ahead by half a second.
    Susie Wolff was really impressive and so was Kobayashi.
    Merc long run pace was no quicker than Red Bull but I don’t believe this is representative comparison right now.

  9. Ylli Beli (@yllib) said on 18th July 2014, 12:13

    I’m feeling confident now that Ferrari is moving forward. Hope we see a podium for them this weekend, Go Ferrari..!

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 18th July 2014, 13:24

      I’m not that confident, as we’ve seen even better than this (= 3rd) from Alonso in FP1, followed by worse positions in Quali and Race,… but I really hope they’ll get a podium position this race.

  10. Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 18th July 2014, 12:24

    Any of you on Gridbids?

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