2013 German GP: First practice
IF THEY BLOW UP WE’RE LEAVING: Teams have threatened to boycott the German Grand Prix if the exploding tyre fiasco repeats in Germany. Fortunately first practice was without incident.Image: AP
NURBURGRING, Germany - No tyre blow-outs, like those at Silverstone during the 2013 British GP, during first practice ahead of the German Formula 1 GP.
Nevertheless, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso had an electrical problem and didn't set a time.
Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets ahead of Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg at the Nurburgring, edging out Silverstone winner Rosberg on his home track with a time of 1min31.754 against 1min31.973. Hamilton’s engineer reported DRS problems over the radio.
THREATEN TO WITHDRAW
The Grand Prix Drivers' Association had earlier announced it would withdraw from the July 7 race race if tyre blow-outs occured. Fortunately, the first practice session was without drama.
After the intervention of the International Automobile Association teams are using upgraded rear tyres with an inner belt made of the synthetic fibre Kevlar rather than steel. The tyres are not totally new to the teams; Pirelli offered them for practice at the 2013 Canadian GP but bad weather meant teams used them sparingly in Montreal and did not gather much data.
Red Bull's triple World champion and championship leader Sebastian Vettel was only eighth-fastest in practice. He's never won in Germany (or in July, for that matter) but is 21 points ahead of Alonso after eight races in 2013.
Mark Webber, preparing for his final German GP before he quits for endurance racing at the end of 2013, was third-quickest on the circuit where he had his first F1 win in 2009.
Marussia's test driver Rodolfo Gonzalez was allowed to drive Jules Bianchi's car for first practice and clocked 1min37.459 - the slowest out on track.
2013 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring: First practice times
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min31.754
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min31.973
3 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min32.789
4 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 1min32.822
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min32.956
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min33.065
7 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min33.139
8 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min33.213
9 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min33.260
10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 1min33.456
11 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min33.493
12 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber 1min33.810
13 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min33.901
14 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min33.976
15 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min34.025
16 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min34.200
17 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min34.437
18 Charles Pic (France) Caterham 1min35.674
19 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min35.987
20 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 1min36.078
21 Rodolfo Gonzalez (Venezuela) Marussia 1min37.459
22 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari
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