Lewis Hamilton asserted Mercedes dominance once again in first free practice ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, while team-mate Nico Rosberg was again stymied by mechanical gremlins that forced him to sit out most of the running in the garage losing valuable set-up time.
The session did not go according to plan for reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel either, who stopped on an outlap with electrical issues forcing his RB10 out the running; the German has a new chassis this weekend but obviously teething troubles remain. By comparison team-mate Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed another fruitful day, sitting 2nd for much of the session before Hamilton’s late lap relegated him to 3rd.
It was McLaren’s Jenson Button in an upgraded MP4/29 who topped the timesheets for most of the morning, ending up 2nd on an ancouraging debut for the ‘new’ car. Kevin Magnussen couldn’t quite match the Brit but was still a competitive 7th on 1 1:28:423. Ferrari also had a solid morning, Fernando Alonso completing 23 laps and recording a 1:28:128, with Kimi Raikkonen also more in the mix than in the first flyaway races and ending up just 0.2 down on his fired-up team-mate.
There were several minor incidents throughout the session; Force India’s Sergio Perez had to deal with a loose mirror, Ricciardo lost aerodynamic bodyparts of his Red Bull but Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde – filling in for Esteban Gutierrez – had the biggest scare when he had a brake failure running down into turn one at almost 200mph. Thankfully the Dutchman avoided the barriers and a major accident, but was understandably left shaken.
FP2 is at 13:00GMT.
CLASSIFICATION – FP1 – Spanish Grand Prix – 9th May 2014
|18||Van Der Garde||Sauber||1:30:440|