Rosberg tops FP1 at Silverstone after gearbox change

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Nico Rosberg recorded the fastest time of the first free practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday morning despite missing the majority of the session due to a hydraulic leak.

Rosberg’s best lap of 1:34.274 was enough to give him P1 by less than one-tenth of a second from Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who led for much of the session in front of his home fans.

Rosberg’s session was halted after a hydraulic leak emerged on his Mercedes W06 Hybrid early on, forcing the German driver to park his car up at the side of the track.

The car was returned to the pit lane for a swift gearbox change, and the Mercedes mechanics were able to get Rosberg back out before the end of the session. He was able to post some quick lap times late on, eventually enjoying an advantage of 0.070 seconds over Hamilton.

The Toro Rosso pair of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr slotted into third and fifth place respectively in FP1, suggesting that the rookie drivers may be well poised to pick up some points this weekend.

Ferrari enjoyed something of a mixed session on Friday morning as Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished fourth and sixth respectively. However, Raikkonen was forced to pit with 30 minutes remaining due to an issue on his SF15-T car.

On-car issues were by no means restricted to just Rosberg and Raikkonen, as McLaren hit trouble during practice once again. Jenson Button managed just a handful of laps late on due to an issue on his car, whilst Fernando Alonso finished just ahead of his teammate in 17th place.

Susie Wolff’s final practice run-out of the season was productive as she finished 0.8 seconds down on the time of Williams teammate Felipe Massa, leaving her 13th overall.

Reserve drivers Jolyon Palmer (Lotus) and Raffaele Marciello (Sauber) also enjoyed another outing at Silverstone on Friday, finishing 14th and 15th respectively.

Second practice for the British Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 9am ET on Friday. For more information on our broadcasts, click here.