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Rosberg tops Belgian GP first practice

2014-08-22 12:14

FASTEST AT SPA: Nico Rosberg sets the fastest time during the first practice session ahead of the 2014 Belgian GP. Image: AP/ Geert Vanden Wijngaert

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Formula 1 leader Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in opening 2014 Belgian Grand Prix practice on Friday (August 22) after renewing his duel with Mercedes team mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Returning refreshed from the August break, Rosberg set a best time of 1min51.577 secs around the classic Ardennes circuit.

Hamilton, who is 11 points behind after 11 of 19 races, was a mere 0.097 slower on a cloudy but bright morning at the longest track on the calendar which is renowned for fickle weather conditions. The one-two was their fifth in succession in practice.

MERC TO DOMINATE...AGAIN?

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third fastest with McLaren's Jenson Button fourth.

The Mercedes-powered teams were predicted to dominate and had seven cars in the ten 10 but Ferrari's showing, with four times Spa winner Kimi Raikkonen fifth fastest despite a spin at La Source, indicated they would not have it all their own way.

Williams had a low-key start, with Valtteri Bottas 10th on the timesheets and Felipe Massa 15th.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, winner of the previous race in Hungary, was ninth.

NEW DRIVERS IN F1

At the bottom end of the field, Andre Lotterer limbered up for his F1 debut with Caterham as a replacement for Kamui Kobayashi by lapping faster than Swedish rookie team mate Marcus Ericsson.

Alexander Rossi replaced Max Chilton for the session at Marussia but his hopes of completing the weekend and racing for the first time evaporated when the Briton was reinstated following contractual wrangles.

The team gave no details but said he would be racing.

2014 Belgian GP at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit:
First practice results
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min51.577
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min51.674
3 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min51.805
4 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min52.404
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min52.818
6 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1min52.903
7 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min52.922
8 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min52.937
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull  1min52.972
10 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min53.172
11 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull  1min53.369
12 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso  1min53.594
13 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus  1min53.597
14 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber  1min53.703
15 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 1min53.968
16 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso  1min54.189
17 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Sauber  1min54.335
18 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus  1min55.336
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia  1min55.782
20 Alexander Rossi (US) Marussia  1min57.232
21 Andre Lotterer (Germany) Caterham  1min57.886
22 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham  1min57.977

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Belgium GP this weekend.
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Read more on:    mercedes  |  2014 belgian gp  |  nico rosberg  |  belgium  |  motorsport  |  f1

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