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Ricciardo upstages Hamilton in opening German GP practice

2018-07-20 13:48

Hockenheim, Germany - Daniel Ricciardo upstaged Lewis Hamilton to top the times for Red Bull in Friday's opening free practice for this weekend's German Grand Prix.

The Australian, who is likely to start at the back of the grid after collecting grid penalties for three new power-unit parts, clocked a best lap in one minute and 13.525 to outpace the defending four-time champion's Mercedes by just 0.004 seconds.

Ricciardo's Red Bull team-mate, Dutchman Max Verstappen, was third, nearly two-tenths off the pace, ahead of championship leader and local hero Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Finns Valtteri Bottas, in the second Mercedes, and Kimi Raikkonen, in the second Ferrari.

Shortly before the session, Bottas was confirmed as staying at Mercedes next year to partner Hamilton, whose own bumper two-year contract extension to the end of 2020 was announced on Thursday.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was seventh ahead of his Haas team-mate Dane Kevin Magnussen, Monegasque Charles Leclerc of Sauber and German Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.

There were no major crashes in a relatively quiet session that saw five Ferrari-powered cars finish in the top ten. Ricciardo's success meant Hamilton's mini-run of being fastest in the previous three Friday opening sessions was ended.

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