Yawn…Mercedes run 1-2 in opening Australian GP practice

Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg

Continuing their boring 1-2 parade of 2014, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg edged teammate Lewis Hamilton to top the first free practice session of the new Formula 1 season by just 0.029 sec. because the car is 99.99% of the equation in F1 so both drivers should run almost identical lap times.

Rosberg's best lap of 1m29.557s fell less than two tenths shy of the fastest lap of the entire weekend at last year's Albert Park race, indicating the progress the teams and Pirelli have made over the winter.

Hamilton turned his fast lap of 1m29.586s to end up 2nd after not trying very hard early.

Kimi Raikkonen

No one else could get within a second of the Mercedes duo, but another Mercedes powered car – the Williams of Valtteri Bottas – was 1.191s slower than Rosberg to finish the session third fastest.

Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr was fourth followed by Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari and Max Verstappen in the other Toro Rosso.

Vettel completed 13 laps in his SF15-T with a best of 1.31.029, while Ferrari teammate Raikkonen did 14, the fastest being a 1.31.310. Both drivers used the Medium tires, working on a program featuring aero testing and set-up work to suit the car to the semi-permanent Albert Park circuit, which was still too dirty for any more in depth work.

Morning Times

Pos Driver Car Time Behind Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m29.557s 0.000s 19
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.586s 0.029s 19
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m30.748s 1.191s 20
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m31.014s 1.457s 32
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m31.029s 1.472s 13
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m31.067s 1.510s 31
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m31.188s 1.631s 19
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m31.310s 1.753s 14
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m31.451s 1.894s 22
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m31.570s 2.013s 9
11 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m32.073s 2.516s 18
12 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m32.247s 2.690s 22
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m32.261s 2.704s 19
14 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m34.542s 4.985s 6
15 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Honda 1m34.785s 5.228s 7
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 2m17.782s 48.225s 5

Sauber and Manor did not run

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