Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in first Spa practice

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in the opening Formula 1 practice session for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix

Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in first Spa practice

The German overcame early problems with his car to record the quickest lap ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.242 seconds.

Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest in his Red Bull, ahead of the two Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Sixth at the end of the 90 minute morning session, held in dry, sunny conditions, was Danill Kvyat in the second Red Bull - just 0.878s behind first-placed Rosberg - and ahead of the two Toro Rosso machines of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Sergio Perez was ninth in his Force India, while the two Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa ended practice one in 10th and 14th place respectively.

The session was red-flagged after 50 minutes when Pastor Maldonado spun exiting the right-hander at Turn 7.

He lost the rear of his Lotus at the right-hander coming out of Les Combes and crossed the circuit smashing the right-front off his car, thereby bringing the session to a halt for 10 minutes while the marshals repaired the tyre barriers.

He finished with the 11th-quickest time.

There was concern for world championship contender Rosberg at the beginning of the session, as he appeared to lose drive entering Blanchimont.

He retuned to the pits where his mechanics investigated the problem with the engine on his Mercedes and half an hour later he was back on track with the issues seemingly resolved.

Briton Jolyon Palmer was the only reserve driving running this morning and took over Romain Grosjean's Lotus seat for the opening session, recording the 17th fastest time.

The two McLaren-Hondas of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button finished down the order in 16th and 18th.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m51.082s - 19
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m51.324s 0.242s 24
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m51.373s 0.291s 18
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m51.478s 0.396s 23
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m51.866s 0.784s 21
6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m51.960s 0.878s 18
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m52.158s 1.076s 27
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m52.421s 1.339s 26
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m52.423s 1.341s 20
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m52.511s 1.429s 19
11 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m52.539s 1.457s 15
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m52.614s 1.532s 20
13 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m52.640s 1.558s 16
14 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m52.653s 1.571s 22
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m53.426s 2.344s 16
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m53.502s 2.420s 15
17 Jolyon Palmer Lotus/Mercedes 1m53.799s 2.717s 23
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m54.225s 3.143s 14
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m55.501s 4.419s 16
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m56.086s 5.004s 17


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