Ricciardo tops opening German GP practice

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

With the top-5 drivers tightly bunched, Daniel Ricciardo, who faces a grid penalty, topped the opening practice session for the German GP at Hockenheim by just 0.004s over Lewis Hamilton. Most times were set on the Supersoft tires, while Ferrari opted only to run the soft compound tire and thus haven't revealed their true pace just yet.

Over a warm and sunny 90 minutes there was little to choose between the top three teams, with only 0.7s covering the top six drivers. The newly-confirmed-for-2019 Valtteri Bottas took fifth for Mercedes, with fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen sixth for Ferrari.

Haas were best of the rest, just over a second off the leading pace, with Romain Grosjean heading team mate Kevin Magnussen. Sauber's Charles Leclerc and Renault's Nico Hulkenberg completed the top ten.

The Australian will start Sunday’s race in Hockenheim from the back of the grid after Red Bull opted to change a number of power unit components on his car, exceeding his limit for the season and leading to a string of penalties.

Ahead of Friday’s opening practice session, the FIA confirmed that Ricciardo’s RB14 had been fitted with a new MGU-K, control electronics and energy store.

The rules say that drivers are permitted to use only two of each of the aforementioned parts per season, and Ricciardo has exceeded the limit on all three, sending him automatically to the back of the field.

Red Bull have opted to take the penalties in Germany in anticipation for next week’s Hungarian Grand Prix, a race in which the Milton Keynes team are expected to be more competitive due to the twisting nature of the Hungaroring layout.

Ricciardo admitted on Thursday that he had expected to take the penalties this weekend, given there are plenty of opportunities for overtaking at the Hockenheimring.

He said: "You can overtake so if we do have the penalties and start towards the back, I'll stay positive and know that there will be some good overtaking.

"Ideally we win next weekend [in Hungary] and suck it up here."


1 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:13.525 +0.000s 22
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.529 +0.004s 29
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:13.714 +0.189s 34
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:13.796 +0.271s 23
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:13.903 +0.378s 30
6 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:14.267 +0.742s 24
7 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:14.691 +1.166s 29
8 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:14.853 +1.328s 28
9 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:15.097 +1.572s 25
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:15.282 +1.757s 32
11 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:15.415 +1.890s 29
12 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:15.544 +2.019s 13
13 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:15.629 +2.104s 32
14 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:15.769 +2.244s 10
15 28 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:15.864 +2.339s 36
16 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:15.876 +2.351s 34
17 34 Nicholas Latifi Force India Mercedes 1:16.023 +2.498s 27
18 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:16.071 +2.546s 32
19 36 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber Ferrari 1:16.136 +2.611s 23
20 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:16.149 +2.624s 14

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