Rosberg fastest in first practice at Silverstone; Massa crashes (VIDEO)

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Nico Rosberg has picked up in Silverstone where he left off in Austria by finishing the first practice session for the British Grand Prix as the fastest driver.

The world championship leader posted a fastest lap of 1:35.424 this morning, finishing some seven-tenths of a second clear of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in a session disrupted by incidents.

Susie Wolff made history by becoming the first female driver to take part in a grand prix weekend session in 22 years, but her practice lasted just 20 minutes after an engine-related failure on the Williams car. Teammate Felipe Massa saw his session come to an end just a few minutes later when he crashed on the exit of Stowe.

The crash was severe enough to warrant a red flag, and although Massa walked away unharmed, Williams has a big job on its hands to get the car ready for FP2 this afternoon. All the while, the other drivers tried to keep to their normal plan despite the red flag costing them 15 minutes of track time.

Caterham also had a tough session as reserve driver Robin Frijns encountered a problem on his car, whilst Marcus Ericsson spun out at Stowe. Pastor Maldonado didn’t even post a time after his Lotus stopped at the end of the pit lane.

At the front, it was business as usual for Mercedes as Rosberg and Hamilton secured yet another one-two finish. Fernando Alonso finished a respectable third for Ferrari, whilst Daniel Ricciardo showed signs of improvement at Red Bull in fourth place.

You can see if Mercedes’ good form continues in FP2 later today, with the session being broadcast on NBCSN and Live Extra from 9am ET.

Reviewing Danica Patrick’s highs and lows at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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So much of Danica Patrick’s fame can be traced to Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It’s where she became a household name 13 years ago when she became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 and emerged as a transcendent athlete.

It’s where everything started. This Sunday, it’s where everything will end, too.

In her last warmup before starting the final race of her career, Patrick had a bumpy final practice Friday on Carb Day. She was eighth fastest, but her Dallara-Chevrolet was in the garage most of the session because of an electrical problem in the engine. After returning during the final 10 minutes of the session, Patrick’s No. 13 seemed to be OK.

“At the end of the day, these are things you’re actually glad for, because if this had happened Sunday, we would have been done,” she said. “I’m glad to get the issues out of the way early on. Overall, today felt good. We made some changes when I went out the second time, and I’m feeling good about starting seventh on Sunday.”
Though she has had her share of success – along with a fourth in her debut, there was a third in 2009 and six top 10s in seven starts — Patrick has learned well how to handle frustration at the 2.5-mile track, too.

Fuel mileage might have kept her from winning her debut, a pit collision ruined 2008, and an unstable setup made 2010 a wild ride.

For a review of her up-and-down history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and her legacy in racing, watch the video essay above that ran during Friday’s NASCAR America Motorsports Special on NBCSN.