GP Austria, prove libere venerdì–01/07/2016
F1 Austrian GP: Mercedes’ Rosberg fastest as rain interrupts FP2
Nico Rosberg edged out Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton to lead a storm-hit, second Austrian Grand Prix practice session.
The championship leader finished six tenths off his Friday morning benchmark, with Hamilton 0.019 seconds behind, although on a dry track at the end of the session Rosberg set faster times in sectors one and two on the ultra-soft tyres before aborting the lap.
Hamilton had one scare late on when he was on a flying lap, only to brake hard as he came upon a heavily slowing Esteban Gutierrez in his Haas.
Just eight minutes into the session, and with Rosberg leading the way with a lap of 1m07.967s that remained unbeaten, a heavy rainstorm swept in from the eastern side of the circuit.
Over the first few minutes Turns 8 and 9 became drenched, while the rest of the track from Turns 1 to 7 remained dry, the conditions naturally catching out many in the final sector as they attempted to return to the pits.
The driving rain was accompanied by strong winds for around 10 minutes as it eventually made its way across the remainder of the circuit.
Once it finally passed after almost half an hour, it left teams and drivers playing a waiting game for the track to start to dry.
Daniel Ricciardo was the first to test the conditions on intermediate tyres just past the halfway point of the session, and over the next 10 minutes was followed by almost the entire field.
With just under 20 minutes remaining and with the majority of the track then dry, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was the first out on slicks, turning to the ultra-softs, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen followed him out on super-softs.
Vettel, who will receive a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, eventually finished fourth quickest behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, but ending the session by sliding off the track and into the gravel at Turn 2.
Raikkonen had earlier gone off track at Turn 5 after just five minutes, firing across the gravel and into a spin from which he just avoided hitting a barrier, before taking an infield escape road to return to the circuit.
The Finn finished eighth overall, just under nine tenths of a second adrift of Rosberg, with Red Bull duo Ricciardo and Max Verstappen sandwiching the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz between the Ferraris.
Williams’s Valtteri Bottas and McLaren duo Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso occupied the next three places, with the latter far from impressed with his running on intermediates when the track was wet.
Told by his team "You can stay out if you want, but if you’re not learning anything you can box", Alonso replied: "I have not been learning anything for the last half an hour."
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|3||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m08.580s||0.613s||28|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.649s||0.682s||30|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m08.713s||0.746s||32|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.761s||0.794s||20|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m09.207s||1.240s||26|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.226s||1.259s||32|
F1 Austrian GP: Rosberg leads Mercedes team-mate Hamilton in FP1
Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in first practice for the Austrian Grand Prix.
The German clocked a 1m07.373s on the ultra-soft tyres to finish 0.357 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a further three tenths adrift.
Hamilton set the early pace on the super-soft tyres but was then usurped by Rosberg, who went 0.642s quicker.
Hamilton then had a spin at Turn 3 and as his car slid back onto the track, Romain Grosjean spun to the inside to avoid contact.
When attention switched to the ultra-soft tyres, Rosberg improved his leading time to a 1m07.644s and then after a cool down lap went nearly three tenths quicker again.
The German, whose leading time was 1.1s quicker than last year’s pole lap, then had an off-track excursion when he slid into the gravel at Turn 3 before rejoining.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, two tenths slower than team-mate Vettel, who did not run the second-generation halo cockpit protection device as anticipated.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, one of a number of drivers to skate off track, was fifth having set his time on the super-soft tyres and Carlos Sainz Jr sixth.
Ricciardo survived a wild moment as Marcus Ericsson got sideways as he tried to stay to the inside of Turn 8 to take the pit entry and slid his Sauber across the white line.
The Australian, who was on the outside, got out of shape and took to the run-off, saying on team radio that "it wasn’t his fault" but Ericsson was put under investigation by the stewards.
Felipe Massa was the leading Williams in seventh, ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who had a messy session.
The teenager lost his left-front endplate after bouncing over the raised exit kerb at Turn 8 and told his team the kerbs were "dangerous".
He then ran wide and hit them again at Turn 6, damaging his steering, which sent him into the gravel to end his session early.
Daniil Kvyat and Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
Grosjean made a late improvement to move up to 11th, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
FIRST PRACTICE RESULTS:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.528s||1.155s||35|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m08.803s||1.430s||34|
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.962s||1.589s||21|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m08.990s||1.617s||32|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.280s||1.907s||43|
|22||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1m10.860s||3.487s||37|