F1: Hamilton sets practice pace in Austria

F1: Hamilton sets practice pace in Austria

21st Jun 2014 5:40 pm

Hamilton was fastest early in the session while all drivers were running on the slower soft-compound Pirelli tyres.

Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, outpacing Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg by almost four tenths of a second.

Hamilton was fastest early in the session while all drivers were running on the slower soft-compound Pirelli tyres, just 39-thousandths of a second faster than his Mercedes team-mate.

But when the pair headed out for their super-soft runs, Hamilton made a big improvement to put in a time 0.747s seconds faster than Rosberg, who found only a tenth on his first flier.

Hamilton subsequently found another tenth to improve his advantage to 0.857s briefly, only for Rosberg to string together a better lap to end up 0.377s down.

Later in the session, Hamilton did have some trouble while doing long-run work, complaining of a loss of power.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was third fastest, just over nine tenths off the pace, while Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, who had been the closest challenger to Mercedes on soft-tyre pace, was fourth.

Felipe Massa completed a strong showing for Williams with fifth overall, just two-thousandths slower than his team-mate.

Sebastian Vettel, who started the session late thanks to his floor having to be changed after his high-speed spin exiting the final corner during the morning session, was sixth fastest, almost 1.3s slower than Hamilton.

Jenson Button, driving the updated McLaren, was seventh fastest, just six thousandths of a second slower than Vettel and a tenth quicker than the other Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, who also had to have a floor changed after a morning off.

Kevin Magnussen was ninth fastest, with Jean-Eric Vergne once again making it into the top 10 for Scuderia Toro Rosso.

It was a difficult session for Kimi Raikkonen, who ended up 11th fastest, half-a-second slower than team-mate Alonso, and endured a grassy moment after running wide at the last corner late on.

Adrian Sutil, who managed only nine laps this morning after a split hose led to the turbo failing, completed a full programme to end up 16th fastest.

Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson also had a better session after stopping after eight laps this morning.

Although rain threatened late in the session, it stayed away and teams were able to complete their planned programmes.

Pos Driver                Team                   Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes               1m09.542s           37  
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m09.919s  +0.377s  50 
 3. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m10.470s  +0.928s  40 
 4. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes      1m10.519s  +0.977s  44 
 5. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes      1m10.521s  +0.979s  39 
 6. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m10.807s  +1.265s  39 
 7. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m10.813s  +1.271s  44 
 8. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault       1m10.920s  +1.378s  36 
 9. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes       1m10.936s  +1.394s  45 
10. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault     1m10.972s  +1.430s  39 
11. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                1m10.974s  +1.432s  45 
12. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault     1m11.261s  +1.719s  45 
13. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes   1m11.296s  +1.754s  36 
14. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari         1m11.491s  +1.949s  42 
15. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault          1m11.765s  +2.223s  30 
16. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari         1m11.806s  +2.264s  42 
17. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1m11.935s  +2.393s  39 
18. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari       1m12.229s  +2.687s  43 
19. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m12.262s  +2.720s  46 
20. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari       1m12.279s  +2.737s  36 
21. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault       1m12.937s  +3.395s  24 
22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault       1m13.596s  +4.054s  48 
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