MONTMELO – Nico Rosberg opened his Spanish Grand Prix weekend in fine style by finishing fastest in the first practice session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday.
The Mercedes driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:26.828 to finish just seven-hundredths of a second clear of teammate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets as their intra-team battle looks set to continue this weekend.
However, Rosberg does remain under investigation with the stewards after entering the pit lane incorrectly, moving to the wrong side of the bollard.
First practice saw a number of teams try out their new upgrades ahead of the race on Sunday, with the parts being introduced in a bid to move up the field and cut the gap to Mercedes at the front.
Ferrari ran with a number of updates on its cars during the first session, but neither Sebastian Vettel nor Kimi Raikkonen could challenge the Mercedes drivers at the front. They were ultimately forced to settle for third and fourth place respectively, finishing almost one second off the pace.
Red Bull debuted its shorter nose design in the first session, running it on Daniil Kvyat’s car as he finished seventh. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, was less fortunate, suffering an engine problem that limited him to just nine laps in the entirety of the session. He did manage to finish ninth in the final standings thanks to a late flying lap, though.
Despite only bringing minor updates to Spain, Toro Rosso ran very strongly in the first practice session as Carlos Sainz Jr. finished fifth ahead of Max Verstappen in sixth place ahead of Kvyat. Felipe Massa finished eighth for Williams ahead of Ricciardo in ninth and Felipe Nasr, who rounded out the top ten.
Susie Wolff enjoyed her third practice run-out on a grand prix weekend on Friday, and put in a respectable display to finish in 14th place. Although her fastest lap was 0.8 seconds slower than that of Massa in the sister Williams car, the Briton had no problems with the FW37 car and managed to complete 22 laps in total.
Raffaele Marciello also took part in practice for Sauber as part of his reserve driver commitments, coming home in 12th ahead of Lotus reserve Jolyon Palmer, who finished 13th. Valtteri Bottas, Marcus Ericsson and Grosjean will return for the second practice session later today.
You can watch FP2 live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET on Friday. For more information, click here.