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Rosberg Heads The Bulls On First Day At Silverstone
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  28 Jun 2013   |  7:37 pm GMT  |  34 comments

Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in Free Practice for the British Grand Prix on a gloomy day at Silverstone, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel completing the top three.

After a rain-disrupted FP1, the afternoon session saw a break in the poor conditions and the field were able to complete some important dry laps ahead of what is predicted to be a dry weekend.

With this in mind, today’s rain prohibits us from gaining too much information about the expected pacesetters as temperatures are expected to increase for qualifying and the race itself.

However, the dry running will give the teams some useful knowledge as the rain eased sufficiently to complete single-lap runs and a heavy fuel run to complete the afternoon.

Rosberg showed that Mercedes has lost little in terms of one lap pace in the three weeks since Canada by lapping 3/10ths faster than the lead Red Bull of Webber. The Australian – in his final British GP – headed his team mate by a further tenth of a second and adds to the expectations for this weekend for his Milton Keynes squad.

The Red Bull race pace also looks strong with Vettel completing a lengthy run on the hard tyre with quick and consistent lap times.

Of the British contingent it was Paul Di Resta who outshone his three compatriots to end the day in fourth place and continue Force India’s impressive pace. The Scot fell at the earliest stage of qualifying at the previous Grand Prix and was able to make a single set of Pirelli’s medium compound tyre last deep in to the race.

Lewis Hamilton made it two Brits in the top five in the Mercedes, ending the day 6/10ths of a second down on Rosberg. He completed a hard tyre run in similar length to Vettel but saw him times fall away more dramatically.

The Toro Rosso pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne filled the next two positions as they battle to impress the Red Bull hierarchy following the announcement of Webber’s F1 retirement.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner indicated today that the team will choose from the Toro Rosso pair and Kimi Raikkonen.

2011 race winner Fernando Alonso had a low key session, ending the day in tenth place and over a second off of Rosberg’s pace. His team mate, Felipe Massa, crashed for the fourth time in three races as he lost control of his Ferrari on the exit of Stowe corner; damaging both the front-left suspension and his decreasing confidence.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, Silverstone, Practice

1.Nico Rosberg  Mercedes  1:32.248

2.Mark Webber  Red Bull  1:32.547  +0.299

3. Sebastian Vettel  Red Bull 1:32.680  +0.432

4. Paul Di Resta  Force India  1:32.832  +0.584

5. Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes  1:32.911  +0.663

6. Daniel Ricciardo  Toro Rosso  1:33.171  +0.923

7. Jean-Eric Vergne  Toro Rosso  1:33.290  +1.042

8. Adrian Sutil  Force India  1:33.313  +1.065

9. Romain Grosjean  Lotus  1:33.322  +1.074

10. Fernando Alonso  Ferrari  1:33.494  +1.246

11. Jenson Button  McLaren  1:33.740  +1.492

12. Nico Hulkenberg  Sauber  1:33.896  +1.684

13. Kimi Raikkonen  Lotus  1:34.120  +1.872

14. Sergio Perez  Mclaren  1:34.130  +1.882

15. Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber  1:34.998  +2.750

16. Valtteri Bottas  Williams  1:35.070  +2.822

17. Pastor Maldonado  Williams  1:35.127  +2.879

18. Jules Bianchi  Marussia  1:35.801  +3.554

19. Giedo van der Garde  Caterham  1:35.985  +3.736

20. Charles Pic  Caterham  1:36.079  +3.831

21. Max Chilton  Marussia  1:37.329  +5.082

22. Felipe Massa  Ferrari  1:43.466  +11.218

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34 Comments
  1. Sebee says:

    Thanks Not at All Secret Tire Test! :-)

    1. Random 79 says:

      These days Mercedes are usually hovering around the top on single lap times – nothing unusual there – but if they’re setting the fastest time lap in lap out during the race with little to no tyre deg then, well…

      Personally, I’m more impressed with the FI and TR drivers – yes it’s only practice, but great effort! – and a shout out to Mark as well, best of luck on the old stomping ground :)

    2. KRB says:

      Why, do you see that they’ve benefited? ‘Cos I don’t, although Rosberg did a 15-lap stint on the mediums. Of course we don’t know if he had start-of-race fuel onboard, using the med’s he’d just set his best time on. That would be a good test to do, I just don’t know if they did. Hamilton was running the prime for Mercedes’ long-run program, and was doing decent times (same as Rosberg on med’s).

      The Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus all look ahead of them still, and Force India look solid too. Alonso’s flying lap was the 1st of a 6-lap run, so he could be at the sharp end in quali tomorrow.

      1. Sebee says:

        I guess we can safely say now all what you said was not how it turned out.

      2. KRB says:

        Yes, the benefit of hindsight. Rosberg said they had the equal fastest car … not sure I would say that. I’m not sure Hamilton would’ve been able to hold off Vettel if there had been no tire blowouts or safety cars. I think the RB9 was still faster, but only just. Still need more info (i.e. a clean race) before confirmation though, for the Mercedes race pace.

        But for sure I was very surprised by the relative lack of pace of the Lotus especially, and the Ferrari.

    3. Quade says:

      If only we’d known Lewis would go almost 3 full secs faster to claim pole!!!!! Wohooooooooooooooo!!!!

      1. Sebee says:

        Conspiracy theory: Lewis on pole to help ticket sales and TV numbers? ;-)

  2. goferet says:

    Yeah it’s business as usual at the top of the tree once again as Mercedes show their hand.

    However taking into account the fact it was a wet day, we will have to wait and see what happens when the tree gets shaken but the early signs are that Mercedes look like a contender with good race pace too >>> which begs the question, will the SILVERarrows make SILVERstone their own???

    The Red Bulls look mighty too more so after Vettel said he had-had a great day with a few issues to perfect.

    Having said that, I doubt Webber will finally finish ahead of Vettel this race because Mark mentally checked out/retired from the show a while ago.

    As for Force India, they look like the dark horse of the weekend who might cause major problems for any top team/driver caught napping.

    The Torro Rosso battle will be fun to watch as the two lads fight it out for Webber’s seat for I believe it’s between these two. Kimi is too clever to leave a good thing.

    It appears Mclaren may find it difficult to make it out of Q3 as shown by Jenson’s pessimism and if so, this may prove the point that it was a mistake not to re-launch the 2012 car once it became clear, the 2013 challenger was no beauty.

    Lastly, good effort by Bianchi to end the day ahead of both Caterhams. Perhaps Red Bull should think about casting their net over a much bigger area.

    P.s.

    Hopefully, Williams can somehow score their first points this weekend. That will feel like a win for the long suffering fans.

    1. Tealeaf says:

      Kimi leave a good thing? Lotus lacks a woorks manufacturer support, they lack the financial muscle of the top 4 teams, they also lost James Allison so I doubt they’re on their way up, even this year they’re sliding backwards after a strong start, RBR will allow Kimi to have a good chance at the title, ok so he’s got to deal with the best driver of this generation in his prime but the chance at a top team won’t come around often and at his age its probably Kimi’s last chance, he will take it.

      1. Adrian J says:

        I am really hoping that Kimi does go to RBR and then we can finally see just how good Vettel is when measured against a driver we all know is fast.

        Either Vettel is also fast, or his critics are right and he’s flattered by the fastest car on the grid…

        Either way, he needs to be paired up with a know-to-be-fast team-mate for us to see.

        Personally I think he’s fast and I think Webber is fast, but other don’t seem to. They’d have a harder time arguing their case if he’s matching Kimi in the same car.

        That said, I also hope Kimi shows his ultimate speed and racecraft and secures a second title.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Others do believe Vettel is a top driver its just hard for the british speaking media and fans to admit his brilliance, out of love for Hamilton maybe? Jealousy? To be honest Seb is a clean racer much like Kimi and no nonsense they’ll just race and not take eachother off but yes Seb will have the edge.

    2. Adrian J says:

      Because we can all be so sure that last year’s McLaren would be faster on these tyres…

  3. Anthony says:

    Massa ? what are you doing ? i can see a toro rosso driver there next year……. shame :-(

    1. David C says:

      I’d put my money on the Hulk at Ferrari next year.

  4. Anne says:

    I hope Kimi and Alonso can put their thing together tomorrow. Everything else is more of the same. Rosberg on top, Massa crashing and RB always ready to rock.

  5. Jazzda says:

    “damaging both the front-left suspension and his decreasing confidence”

    When he doesn’t crash he’s good enough for a 2nd driver, but this way he becomes expensive, to say the least.
    Massa is a nice guy and I like him, but that’s it.

  6. goferet says:

    “I think the race will be quite tight, to be honest I don’t think there’s anyone
    charging away,” Webber predicted.
    ————————————————–

    I say, this isn’t good news for Red Bull.

    I mean, we have seen over the ages that the secret to Red Bull’s success has been the ability to pull away and make a gap especially in the first couple of laps.

    Whenever Red Bull has been involved in tight battles, they tend to lose e.g. Australia 2013, USA 2012, Canada 2012, Germany 2011 etc

  7. alexdhq says:

    At this rate I’d be surprised if Massa makes it to the end of the season. He makes the rookies look like veterans.

    Like Webber, this will most likely be his last season in F1 except unlike Webber, someone else will make that call for him.

  8. Tealeaf says:

    The Hamilton fans are very quiet, better luck tomorrow I guess, I’m sure Rosberg won’t hold a candle to beloved Lewis in quali.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Strange how that works.

      Nevermind, I’m sure there’s a reason ;)

    2. cookinflat6 says:

      Its only free practice, Lewis had hard tyres, Rosberg had mediums. The team said they were on different agendas

      lets try not to get too excited over practice lest we end up looking like Gary Anderson declaring that Mclaren had a better car than last year

    3. Jake says:

      Quietly confident of a decent result given the circumstances.
      It’s the Ferrari fans who should be worried!

    4. dzolve says:

      Well, I guess there’s your answer tea leaf – Lewis pole by nearly half a second!

  9. Sufyaan Patel says:

    Kimi’s best time on the hard tyre. Whats that all about then? Whats the difference between the Hard and Medium over a lap?

    1. Antti says:

      Kimi didn’t do any medium tyre drives, hence his fastest is with the harder compound. I assume the reason is that he was testing the new aero package all day and was saving the softer tires for later.

    2. Mr Ed says:

      Kimi only ran the hard tyre I believe.

    3. MelB says:

      The also successfully tested “the device” at the hands of Kimi.

  10. Thread the Needle says:

    Poor Massa, he really doesn’t go well in the wet

  11. webber is always mighty here and to have finally reversed the finger webber will be enjoying the prospects of open conflict, that is if they, the red bull mafia, dont put in the fix!

    webber will be relishing the opportunity to get something back and hopefully he can pull off another silverstone win. now that i would like to see…..

  12. OffCourse says:

    I fear that we will see the WDC/WCC decided this weekend.

    It appears things a lining up as they have in the past.

    RBR up the front, possibly with a bit of speed in their pocket.

    Merc has good one lap pace and will fight it out with RBR for the front two rows.

    Ferrari and Lotus haven’t found the one lap pace they have been looking for so will qualify mid top 10 with only their lead drivers.

    RBR seems to have consistent long run speed with Merc’s dropping off too quickly.

    So race should run ……

    SV takes early lead because he has the pace and can take a little more from the tyres early.

    Merc’s drop back slowly and given the nature of Silverstone for overtaking will probably fall victim to Kimi and Alonso….

    So RBR 1,2 with Alonso and Kimi in 3,4 and Merc’s 5,6

    Changes in that order would probably be due to race incidents.

    That would mean a potential 43 point lead for SV.

    Even though Alonso had a big lead this time last year and lost, I can’t see Ferarri making the development inroads that RBR did last year.

    I’m afraid that the other teams have failed to take it to RBR yet again. :(

    Also I could be totally wrong and look like a complete goose, but it is fun to have a punt.

    1. Marty says:

      Phew, thank you. I thought for a time there that I would have to get up at 04:30 again to watch the GP. Now that I’ve read your synopsis I think I’ll stay in bed and catch the next one in Germany.
      Na, I’m just kidding…wouldn’t want to miss a Webber win!

      1. Offcourse says:

        Oh shit, it’s worse than I thought.

        Did see some goose feathers on my chair when I got up after quali. (Bloody Grojean)

        Maybe Christian Horner new that Merc were going to be closer to them than any others this season and that’s why he pressed test gate so hard.

        Really thought Kimi and Alonso would be closer than this. May not even catch the Mercs :(

        It’s sad that these two teams still don’t seem to be able to take it to RBR.

        My recommendation is that you watch the race. Enjoy:)

      2. Tim says:

        Maybe Christian Horner new that Merc were going to be closer to them than any others this season and that’s why he pressed test gate so hard….

        I suspect it was more about next year. If the rumours are correct, and the fine he was lobbying for was levied by the FIA, it would have left a very big hole in the teams budget.
        Less money = less speed.
        If you can’t make your team faster, make the others slower – page one in the team principal manual ;-)

  13. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Go Hulk, show that!

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