Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton continued to dominate the 2014 Formula One season as it returned to action in Belgium for this weekend’s race at Spa Francorchamps after the summer break.
Rosberg bested his English team-mate by less than a tenth of a second, with Fernando Alonso 0.2 further back in 3rd and McLaren’s Jenson Button the only other man within a second of the fastest time for 4th place.
Alonso’s Ferrari stablemate Kimi Raikkonen endured another difficult Friday however, being forced to sit out the end of the session with an ERS failure that crippled his car despite him setting 5th fastest lap ahead of Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo – who was the fastest Renault-powered car – in 9th.
The main talking point of the morning however was at the other end of the grid; Marussia driver Max Chilton was told late on Thursday that he was to be replaced by test driver Alexander Rossi for the duration of the Belgian GP weekend thanks to ‘contractual issues’, only for the decision to be apparently reversed when the American was already taking part in FP1.
Elsewhere Audi Le Mans driver Andre Lotterer proved faster than new Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson by 0.1 seconds, while Giedo van der Garde filled in for regular Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez.
CLASSIFICATION – FP1 – Belgian Grand Prix – 22nd August 2014
|17||van der Garde||Sauber||1:54:335|