Nico Rosberg made an impressive start to his home grand prix weekend by leading first practice at Hockenheim for Mercedes on Friday.
Rosberg heads into the German Grand Prix trailing teammate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship for the first time this season after the Briton’s victory last weekend in Hungary.
Rosberg won the last German Grand Prix in 2014, delighting home fans at Hockenheim, and brought a smile to those scattered across the grandstands on Friday morning by topping FP1.
A fastest lap of 1:15.517 was enough to give Rosberg P1 by three-tenths of a second, with Hamilton trailing in second place.
The rest of the pack was left far behind, with Sebastian Vettel leading the charge for Ferrari in third place. His time was over a second slower than Rosberg’s best lap, suggesting that Mercedes is set to dominate proceedings once again in Germany.
Kimi Raikkonen followed Vettel in the second Ferrari, finishing fourth ahead of the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
Fresh from finishing every session of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend in P7, Fernando Alonso finished FP1 seventh for McLaren, with teammate Jenson Button close behind in P8. Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top 10 for Toro Rosso.
Second practice for the German Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Friday.