British GP: Nico Rosberg recovers from problem to top practice

Nico Rosberg recovered from an early hydraulic problem to top the first free practice session for Formula 1's British Grand Prix with a series of late fast laps

British GP: Nico Rosberg recovers from problem to top practice

The German was ordered to stop the car with a loss of hydraulic pressure on his sixth lap of the day shortly after the 15-minute mark, having just set the fastest first-sector time seen to that point.

While Rosberg was recovered to the pits, the way seemed clear for Lewis Hamilton to top the 90-minute session.

He was fastest during the first 30 minutes, when everyone was on their first set of hard-compound Pirellis, improving by just under eight tenths on his second run.

That looked to be enough to guarantee top spot, only for Rosberg to hit the track late on after time in the pits ensuring his car was operational.

By that time, Rosberg had slipped to seventh, but on his first serious flier he jumped to second before banging in two laps quicker than Hamilton's best - the first one hundredth faster, the second seven hundredths quicker.

Having expected to go well on the high-speed track thanks to the strength of the chassis, Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr backed up their claims by showing strong pace in third and fifth places respectively.

They were down in seventh and eighth after the first runs, but both set their best times on the second set of tyres early in the final hour.

It seemed they would end the session third and fourth only for Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who lost time on his second set of tyres with an MGU-H problem, to improve his pace late on and split the pair.

Sebastian Vettel was not able to match his team-mate's raw speed, ending up in sixth place.

Red Bull's lead driver, Daniel Ricciardo, was 1.5s off the pace but not far behind Ferrari in seventh place, with team-mate Daniil Kvyat barely slower.

Nico Hulkenberg, in the much-vaunted B-spec Force India, was ninth fastest ahead of Williams driver Felipe Massa.

Several non-race drivers ran during the session, with Susie Wolff the best-placed in 13th overall for Williams, just under eight tenths off Massa.

Lotus reserve Jolyon Palmer was just two hundredths behind, with Sauber's Raffaele Marciello 15th.

McLaren endured a troubled session. Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button completed only 22 laps between them and outpaced only the two Manor entries of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.

Button lost time with a leak, while Alonso trialled an experimental suspension configuration that then had to be changed once the team had gathered data on it.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m34.274s - 12
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.344s 0.070s 26
3 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m35.530s 1.256s 18
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m35.588s 1.314s 21
5 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m35.669s 1.395s 33
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m35.739s 1.465s 17
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.818s 1.544s 26
8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m35.876s 1.602s 22
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m36.157s 1.883s 28
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m36.469s 2.195s 23
11 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m36.855s 2.581s 20
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m36.889s 2.615s 26
13 Susie Wolff Williams/Mercedes 1m37.242s 2.968s 19
14 Jolyon Palmer Lotus/Mercedes 1m37.262s 2.988s 26
15 Raffaele Marciello Sauber/Ferrari 1m37.372s 3.098s 17
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m38.080s 3.806s 8
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m38.222s 3.948s 12
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m38.860s 4.586s 10
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m38.981s 4.707s 23
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m40.477s 6.203s 23

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