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Hamilton edges Rosberg as cars run FRIC-free in scorching hot Germany
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  18 Jul 2014   |  3:26 pm GMT  |  73 comments

In the highest temperatures seen so far in this F1 season, Lewis Hamilton narrowly beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets in free practice for the German Grand Prix, the Silverstone-winner edging the championship leader by just two hundredths of a second.

Daniel Ricciardo was third, just a tenth adrift of Hamilton’s supersoft-shod best time of 1:18.341. The Red Bull Racing driver logged competitive times against the Mercedes driver on both tyre compounds and through his short and longer runs on a day when all the teams ran without FRIC systems.

“It was a little difficult to find a balance today with the track being so hot, it was quite tricky,” said Hamilton. “The car is a little bit different now, obviously because we and everyone has made changes set-up is in a different direction to what we’ve had in the past but it’s still fun to drive.

“Finding the sweet spot of the car is just in a different place now. We have to improve our target and get that right.”

Temperatures on the track soared to almost 60 degrees in the afternoon, while the air temperature was 32 degrees. Cooler weather is forecast for Sunday, which could make much of the data gathered today redundant. As things stand it will be close between a two and three stop strategy, with the super soft only good for around 8-10 laps at the start of the race.

Rosberg had run fastest in the morning session, beating Hamilton to top spot by just six hundredths of a second. It was a similar story in the afternoon on the supersoft tyres, but on the soft compound Rosberg was marginally faster, eclipsing Hamilton by three tenths of a second. Hamilton’s best time in the afternoon came on the supersoft as track temperatures soared to 58 degrees Celsius.

Rosberg made a mistake at Turn 2 on his qualifying simulation run and had to go again; with the supersoft tyres only good for one lap in the intense heat, he and already taken one sector of life out of his tyres.

Daniel Ricciardo

The long runs in the second half of FP2 showed that Mercedes had the edge over Red Bull by a few tenths, with Williams ahead of Ferrari.

In the morning session Ricciardo had finished fourth behind Fernando Alondso and half a second off Rosberg, but the Australian closed the gap in the afternoon and looked competitive on both tyres.

Behind him Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth for Ferrari, improving on his eighth place in the morning. Team-mate Alonso, though, went backwards in the afternoon. In FP1 the Spaniard was just three tenths off the pace of Rosberg but in the second session his best lap saw him finish almost a full second adrift of Hamilton and down in ninth place.

In the morning McLaren had continued the good form shown in Silverstone by posting the fifth and seventh best times, with Jenson Button in P5 and Kevin Magnussen just under a tenth further back.

McLaren suffered from struggling to get the temperature of the tyres balanced from front to rear,

In FP2, the pair swapped places, with Magnussen continuing to make progress and claiming fifth place by the end of running. Button, though failed to find the looked for improvement on the supersoft and finished seventh, behind Williams Felipe Massa. His team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, took the final top 10 place.

It was a tough day for Caterham as both cars stopped on track in the afternoon. Kamui Kobayashi stopped after just 12 laps with flames pouring from the back of his car, while Marcus Ericsson stopped with an oil pressure problem after just three laps. The team managed to eventually get Ericsson going again in the final half hour of the session.

Susie Wolff drives the Williams

In the morning, Williams development driver Susie Wolff took Bottas’ seat for her second Friday practice outing for the Grove outfit.

At Silverstone, the Scot’s session lasted just lasted just four laps before a power unit problem sidelined her and early on at Hockenheim it seemed as if she was destined for more heartbreak as an issue on her installation lap forced her back to the pits.

The problem was rectified, however, and she was able to complete a total of 22 laps, with a best time of 1:20.76. That left her in P15, just 0.227s off the best time set by Massa.

German Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.341s 38
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m18.365s +0.024s 39
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m18.443s +0.102s 35
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.887s +0.546s 38
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1m18.960s +0.619s 40
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1m19.024s +0.683s 36
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1m19.221s +0.880s 40
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m19.248s +0.907s 35
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m19.329s +0.988s 32
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m19.385s +1.044s 34
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m19.417s +1.076s 41
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m19.452s +1.111s 27
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1m19.581s +1.240s 28
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m19.593s +1.252s 32
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m19.760s +1.419s 32
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1m20.158s +1.817s 35
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m20.358s +2.017s 35
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m20.504s +2.163s 40
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m21.328s +2.987s 31
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m21.870s +3.529s 21
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1m21.898s +3.557s 28
22 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1m23.728s +5.387s 12

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

Saw a few interviews with Susie Wolff and judging from the times she set in free practice, would love to see her get a drive, if Williams really want to get the public behind them, not to mention f1 in general.

They should give her the #2 drive behind Botas when Massa’s contract ends.


Funny how all the drivers reported no major difference without FRIC systems. You have to wonder the wisdom of the sport to invest in the systems to begin with. Something wrong with this ‘sport’…


It’s pretty crazy – they invest millions in it, employ seven or eight engineers per team to work on it and then its obsolete in a day. All that money wasted.


Come on Kimi and Lewis! Good luck this week-end in Germany!


This race has a Mercedes disappointment written all over it.

McLaren looking good.


Where do you get your data for the long runs James? Is there a system used by commentators and teams? I know the info is available on the FIA website but it’s in a raw format.


James glad to see tou have not folllowed suit with the rest of the F1 sites etc again reporting on Suzie Wolfs F1 test lets face it F1 is absolutely no place for F1 in its current format and with the clear limited slots to let them filter in we would prob never ever find a genuine good enough candidate pretty much ever……..But wait had a think and heres an idea that would both boost car numbers on the grid not to mention stop the sexist angle being brought into the sport.

Why not have all the teams running a third car as previously spoke about but of course making the 3rd car for female drivers? what more achievable realistic way can you burn down all the challenges of integrating female drivers to the sport than that? and of course as current like all drivers if they dont make the lap time % cut then they dont get to drive on race day hindering other drivers while of course on a multiple female driver platform all continually improve on tersting/practice and qualifying?


if di montezemoloo really sack prost for criticising the car why does the fia not discipline him for calling f1 taxi driving?


You should excuse di monte … he was confused. He thought he was participating in taxi-racing and therefore, developed a very expensive taxi to participate in F1 driven by two former world champions. Imagine his horror when he found out that it was actually not a taxi championship!


The difference is Prost knew what he was talking about 😉


Renault were saying they expected performance gains in Germany based on new fuel. They’ve been saying stuff like this all season of course, but maybe this time they’ll be proven right.


Good to see Williams have finally brought in someone who can give Felipe a close fight…..


Bottas 73

Massa 30

You’re right, Bottas isn’t close to Felipe at all.


Ha ha, I think you’ve missed the irony.


Technical question for you James (and/or Mark Gillan) – Renault said they are hoping for a software upgrade to increase efficiency of their engine and thereby increase the power. What does that mean? When I think of engines, I think of nuts/bolts/pistons/valves etc i.e. hardware, what kind of ‘software update’ could affect the efficiency of the engine?



Well, you’re right that an engine is hardware but, leaving aside Quercus quite correct points about the power unit as a whole, you have to remember that in any modern engine the hardware is run by software. This applies to your own road car by the way, unless it was built before about 1990. So, the pistons are total hardware, the vales are hardware but the point at which they open and shut can be varied by software, the fuel injectors are hardware but when and how long they inject for are controlled by software, as is the timing of the spark plugs firing. Then add in all the other factors regarding turbo boost levels and so on and you will see that software changes on any modern engine, even a road car let alone an F1 car, can have a huge effect on outright power, fuel consumption and driveability. Or any combination of those factors. I hope that doesn’t sound condescending but it’s a complex topic and, if you thought you would stay awake, I could into much more detail!


Considering it’s a computer which controls the engine now then the better the software is the more efficient and powerful the engine will be.

Mind you no matter how hard they try a software update will not turn a Renault power unit into a Mercedes power unit.


It effects it huge. Look at what happened to Kobayashi today when they forgot to install his firewall.


I would guess ‘engine’ is now shorthand for ‘power unit’ (ie., it includes battery power and the two modes of energy harvesting), so software will include much more now than fuelling and timing. Spinning up the compressor at the right moment to prevent throttle lag and harvesting heat energy from the turbine at the right time will provide a hellishly complex new set of variables to deal with.


And while the kinetic energy recovery system power output is restricted per lap, assuming by limit of battery discharge, the heat recovery system can send power straight to the electric motor. Optimising these things would be controlled by software.


I missed the Hockenheimring. It was a welcome sight to see F1 back there again even though I think the Nurburgring can be best called the Spiritual Home of the German GP.

Glad to see, Susie Wollf completing her program without too much problems. What happened to Fernando? Different program between the Ferrari drivers?

Hehe but elsewhere, I heard there was a Kart Race between the Ferrari boys and Bianchi as well. I heard Kimi starting behind both Alonso and Bianchi managed to end up winning the event by a good margin 😛 The talent is still there, maybe the F14T is not as fun for him as a KART or a Lawnmower I guess 😛



I heard this, Kimi can still drive.


Kimi looked like he could actually push his car today rather than having to fight every corner just to keep it pointing in the right direction, from the onboard camera it looked a lot more planted. Could be down to the very got weather meaning he can get his front end working properly


Its reasonable to assume that Kimi has a brand new car here. Maybe the old chassis had a crack in it like Seb’s did 😉


Soft rubber + heat to keep them sticky =Raikkonen territory. He will struggle if its cooler on Sunday


Kimi had massive oversteer at some point of the FP2 and the commentator of MTV Toni Vilander suspected it happened due to too low ride height in the front of the car. This was caused at least partially by absence of FRIC.


Hard to read much due to too many out of ordinary variables – short lap times, high temperatures and no FRIC.


James do you have any idea as to why Alonso have not improved his times with low fuel run on FP2? I have read somewhere Alonso encountered traffic few times when he tried to clock a low-fuel run with SS tyres?


Another Mighty effort by Ricciardo. Obviously with the absence of FRIC Red Bull chassis still shines. “Not bad” from a shaken but not stirred Raikkonnen after showing everyone how to race carts again.

Could be an ok race. Dan could really take it to Mercedes, Ferrari are still 4/10 off on long run pace but Dan was much closer.. Think the Mercs are just saving it and we’le see a more representative pace tomorrow.

kenneth chapman

@ elie….good perspective. i do agree with your summary and sincerely hope that DR can pull something off by way of a decent points haul. the lad is shaping up nicely now that he has some good results to show for his efforts. something tells me though to be cautious when looking at the mercedes as they are still very very fast and by quali they should be right up there with marginally better times. i also think that vettel will be in there somewhere as he has a lot riding on this race. he simply has to beat DR and at least one of the mercs to maintain any cred. can’t wait to see what happens.


Interesting, sessions from the non FRIC cars for the grid looks a whole lot closer though the scorching temperatures may have had something to do with this.

Anyway, glad Susie finally got some running done and yes she gave a good account of herself in relation to Massa considering at Silverstone, Symonds said that if Susie would get within half a second Massa, he would be officially impressed.

Yes, Suise’s performance today shows there are lots of people that have the potential only if they could get a chance.

Now, qualifying will be interesting to see if the grid have really closed up on Mercedes but my guess is the Mercedes drivers were keeping the cards close to their chest in a bid to avoid giving away too much in the data collection briefings.

However, it’s worth remembering Lewis hasn’t finished ahead of Rosberg in both qualifying and the race when the supersoft were used.

Once again strong performance from Ricciardo but considering both of Red Bull’s wins in Germany have come at the Nurburgring perhaps this track isn’t a Red Bull friendly track.

It was surprising to see Kimi put in some good times in FP2 for sure should he have a good weekend, I will blame everything on FRIC.

As for Alonso, he must have been trying some different components in FP2 for the Samurai isn’t fond of drastically falling off the timesheets.

Mclaren have definitely made some improvements as shown by the fact they have been consistently ahead of Force Indias and Torro Rossos, it’s now up to the drivers to score some good points for the team.

Regards Williams, they must be the biggest culprit in the sandbagging culture for the free practices aren’t too spectacular till the race comes around.

Overall, with temperatures expected to be lower for the rest of the weekend, we may have a further shake up of the grid.


Kimi never had FRIC on his car, he said that in Thursday’s press conference. I don’t know whether that was on Alonso’s car or not. IT shouldn’t be to be honest.

Regarding his drive in FP2 today, he looked far more comfortable attacking the corners, he was hitting the apex very nicely, something that we wasn’t doing in earlier races. So team must have found something on the car for a better balance, and/or they must have found some breakthrough with regards to his set up, just like he wants it.

Anyways, its way too early to conclude anything yet.

Kimi had very tough seasons (1st Half) in 2004/2009, but he did manage to turn it around and have a very respectable 2nd half in both those years. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a much better 2nd half of the season than the 1st one.


I agree, he could actually attack the track today rather than being right on the limit every corner trying to keep it on the black stuff.

He’s had season like this.. Even 2007 when he won the title it wasn’t until Indy that they found the right setting for him. He’ll be back


@ Harshad

Oh I see, pretty amazing Kimi hasn’t been using FRIC and yes it’s too early to say if Kimi has turned a corner but the encouraging thing is as you say, Kimi has tended to have stronger second halves to a season e.g. 2007.


Goferet, see my post above about a high probability of a torrential thunderstorm (literally!) hitting the track for the race on Sunday! Yikes!


@ Gaz Boy

Oooo a wet race seems juicy, just the sort of thing midfielders wish for everyday.

Yes the wait at Ferrari goes on but I don’t think Ferrari would appreciate a wet race this time as the 2012 Ferrari was well suited to the wet and hence we saw surprise poles at Silverstone and Germany 2012.

As for Alonso, I wouldn’t rate him as a out and out rainmesiter as he tends to have off track moments or spins during the wet.


Gaz Boy you know you can’t trust the weather boffins to be even *close to right.

When I lived in the UK I read a guy’s masters thesis that demonstrated that if you simply predicted tomorrow would be just like today you would be correct 70% of the time, which is a heck of a lot better that the Weather Bureau can manage.


Incredible to think good old Alonso – and good old Ferrari – haven’t been victorious since May 2013…………..14 months ago and counting………..that’s the longest period between wins for Ferrari in the New Millennium.

Of course, a wet race on Sunday would be a great opportunity for Nando to use his superb wet weather ability a la Malaysia 2012…..

Also incredible to think that it was at this track 2 years ago was the last time a Ferrari driver took pole, made a good start, and controlled the whole race from the front to win. Talk about a decline………………..


Come on Lewis 🙂

Note the lack of FRIC is bringing the rest of the team closer in lap times.

Whether the Mercs are hiding their true speed until Quali., only time will tell.

A marble strewn race track shows the heat is taking alot out in tyre deg. Marbles will cause some risky overtaking & big kahunas.

If the FIA took away FRIC to bring the cars closer then thats just creating another artifical element which will smell considerably & its totally unfair on Mercedes.

FIA are creating a circus with its late mid season goal post changes.


Responding to Pkara’s very understandable emotional previous post about the Russian GP, I think it’s a very pertinent point about whether Sochi should be cancelled.

Assuming that most users on this forum are from the Western world – and I guess most are – then ourselves in the West have to ask: do we want to give Mr Putin an opportunity of political posturing and propaganda via the privilege of hosting a grand prix?

It’s worth remembering Mr Putin is ex-KGB – he’s an expert chess player. Along with China and the extreme Islamist countries, Russia has become increasingly isolationist in regards to its foreign policy and relations with the Western World. Why give him the oxygen of propaganda that a grand prix in Russia would bring?

Unfortunately, motor racing has been used for political posturing and propaganda platform in the dim and distant past. In the 30s, the Nazi’s and Mussolini’s Fascists poured money into their respective national motor sport teams to use grand prix racing to highlight the supremacy of engineering and human sporting achievement in Italy and The Third Reich. After the war, F1 went to Apatheird South Africa, and also, just as shamefully, from 1968 to 1975 had a Spanish GP when Franco’s brutal dictatorship was in place – a black mark for the buffers in the blazers who ran motor racing in those days. Thankfully, western society and F1 has come a long way since then – but has Russia?

I do agree with Pkara’s sentiments to a certain extent, and I think a deep and meaningful examination of a grand prix in Russia needs to urgently take place. F1 rightfully dropped out of Bahrain in 2011 (IMO it should never have gone back, but there you go) – all the teams and sponsors need to sit down and seriously consider the implications of the Sochi GP taking place.

Like I said, Mr Putin is ex KGB – it’s not surprising he has a dislike of the West. Let’s face it, relations between the West and Russia are very tense, and you do wonder if the tense relations between Russia and the NATO countries puts F1 in Russia in something of an untenable situation.



Indoctrination whst indoctrination?!

This is not a hypnotized viewpoint of the west. This is a global incident regarding the lives of innocent people shot out the sky by a BUK Russian anti aircraft vehicle launching a Surface To Air Ordinance missile at a civilian plane.

Changing a media viewpoint & hiding behind the blame game will not bring these poor souls back. Having this Grand Prix in Russia would be a sickening injustice, & creating a media event around Russian politicians parading trophies as if noyhing had happened.

This is a game changer & Putin does not deserve a podium on a global stage. Simply sickening to suggest anyone is being indoctrinated into cancelling a Grand Prix.


Hi GazBoy

I bet you 50p the race goes ahead!

Bernie hates refunding the circuit/promoters race fees – something he would have to do if ‘F1’ cancelled the race. The Russians aren’t going to suggest the race is cancelled, thereby letting Bernie off the hook regarding refunds. Therefore, the only hope is that a greater power steps in, eg some kind of UN embargo making it illegal for teams to participate. Can’t really see that happening myself. So, despite a lot of huffing and puffing, hand wringing and general soul searching the teams will rock up and race just like they always have.


Unless the top teams boycott the race, Bernie will make sure it still takes place.

Regarding Bahrain 2011. The reason that was cancelled was to do with safety concerns, not out of any moral qualms.


Cancel it, or F1 becomes part of Putin’s propaganda. Russia’s behavior in destabilising a neighboring country was already enough reason to cancel, even before the MH17 incident.

kenneth chapman

i have always strongly advocated for F1 to go where they want and race. i have supported the notion that F1 should never be intimidated by political agendas and that they come, race and then leave. nothing more and nothing less.

regards the sochi race, as much as i want F1 to go and race i have great fears now that it would totally innapropriate for the race to proceed. this is a much bigger issue now and the west and the east are certainly heading for a major standoff over many issues, not just the airline crash but the offensive nature of the russians attempt to overthrow a neighbours sovereignty. hopefully things will get sorted but in this instance i would support a ‘no show’ until russia decides to back off.


Sochi should go forward.

The true ‘telling of the tale’ is far from the lop-sided, short-memoried version being carpet-bombed onto us.

The villification of the leader of the rival political viewpoint is often the first step.

Don’t buy the sound-bites, they are a candy which makes your mind obeice.

If you want to draw global political economics into a comment here, please bring global facts, not just what has been indoctrinated.


Why is there a GP in China then? In fact considering US foreign policy, should there be a US GP? Once you start down this road it’s not easy to know where to get off.


After Putin annexed Crimea I suggested F1 should cancel Sochi.

Now that Russia/Putin have aided the slaughter of hundreds of innocent travellers, do we really want to support this Despot.

I don’t.


I think that there is a growing realisation in F1 that it may well not happen now


“Note the lack of FRIC is bringing the rest of the team closer in lap times.”

It might be the lack of FRIC. Or it may be the tyres, the temperatures, and the characteristics of this track. We’ll have to wait another few GP’s to know.


Interesting that Lewis seemed to have a scrappy day of running, am wondering how much of that due to the FRIC ban, eg Lewis trying to make the car do things it could before, his comments obviously indicate some loss of performance, proof in the pudding will be qually


From what he says I got the impression heat played a bigger impact.


I agree that the FIA should have let it alone until 2015, but the FRIC system itself is an artificial element so even if I disagree with the timing I’m actually glad it’s gone – I reckon F1 cars should pitch and roll a bit through the corners as cars normally would.

p.s. I’m not sure if you got the memo already James but the e-mail replies seem to be working again, so thank you 🙂



I agree the FRIC is a great piece of engineering and it would be a good thing to have on a road car, but I still think it takes something away from the dynamics of a race car.

The FIA have been cracking down on innovations for one reason or another for years. Some of those reasons are good and others aren’t, but if they going to do it then I just wish they wouldn’t do it mid-season.

kenneth chapman

@ random 79……. i certainly don’t see FRIC as an artificial contrivance. it is a very clever piece of engineering that optimises the manner in which the suspension operates. it certainly is not new but so what? i expect that the latest iterations are extremely clever and they should not be banned. goodness me, when are the FIA going to cease slapping down every engineering innovation? they implement the DRS for phony passing then ban a truly clever piece of engineering that enhances performance!!!! stupid/dumb whatever.


When I read how it worked, I thought Hydrolastic suspension used on Morris 1100 and Minis.. A psuedo active suspension.


See, give this new technology time to mature, and it becomes reliable………….

As for FRIC, yes, it is a bit contrived – but so is banning it mid season……………….


All is fair in love and war. I hope McLaren was behind FRIC gate to disadvantage Mercedes since Mercedes have engaged in numerous actions to hurt McLaren. As customer I understand that Mercedes disclosed the details of the new engine ad long as possible for their customers, poached McLaren’s top driver, car designer and a long term sponsor.


+1 The German Team did all the necessary to snatch away everything from McLaren. It can be only about money, but Mercedes also needed to show they were serious about F1 commitment.


My first thought about FRIC was used for improving tyre deg is that it’s going to hurt Ham more than Ros.. He’s used to be hard on tyres-but not this season..


I saw on the BBC weather website there quite a significant chance of a massive thunderstorm on Sunday – when it is due to appear is open to conjecture!

Of course, all the teams know this, so it may be possible that some teams will take a gamble and veer towards a wet-ish set up – softer suspension set up, more wing, rise the ride height, all the usual tricks for a better car in the wet. The BBC weatherman said if – if – it did rain during the race, the rain would be potentially torrential, and therefore could cause horrendous aquaplaning if a car is not set up probably.

There again, if it stays dry for the race, and a car is set up for a wet-ish track, it will of course be disadvantaged because it will be slow in a straight line, roll more (because of a softer set up) and put more load into the dry weather rubber.

So set up wise, it’s a gamble this weekend. Decisions, decisions……………….


Will Charlie Whiting even let a wet race happen anymore?


I imagine it will be similar to the downpour they had in the 2012 qualifying here, cars aquaplaning all over the place.


Unless it’s guaranteed to be wet for the race, I find it difficult to believe any team will compromise for a wet set up, the teams just don’t do it anymore.


We had weather like that at Nurburgring in 2007 . Gulp!


I was at that race siting at the last corner 🙂


Its hard to say how much fuel Susie was carrying compared to others, but in either case, i applaud her for what was a brilliant time for someone with so little time in the car. I still think Kovi or De Riesta or Alguersuari deserve a test seat in F1 than Susie. One thing is for sure, it isnt the first time in recent years we’ve seen a relative new comer set a good time in their first outing in an F1 car. Compared to say 10 – 15 yrs back, a first time driver in F1 would more often than not struggle to get acclimatized before setting decent time. Are cars today much easier to drive than they were before ?


I think that modern simulators have a lot to do with it. Drivers can log 100’s of hours in these things getting used to all the modern F1 knobs and gadgets.


Geez Zom, you’re a bit behind the times!

Kovi had too many chances and ultimately overstayed, hugely. The other two, mediocre at best.


Entirely depends on the car, driver and team. Remember Button’s first test in an F1 car back in ’99? It went so well that Prost recommended him to Williams for the race seat straight off the bat.


Button was very very good, so its no surprise that he set those times in 1999. Its just that he wasted his youth in cars that had no chance of contesting for the title.


Lets give Susi her due, she was the one in the car, she posted the times, she did OK.

My question is will Toto have to sell his shares in Williams to pay her pitlane speeding fines?

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