Formula 1

Nico Rosberg gets edge over Hamilton in opening British GP practice

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Rosberg proved he'll be no push over for Hamilton at Silverstone this weekend (©GettyImages)
Rosberg proved he'll be no push over for Hamilton at Silverstone this weekend (©GettyImages).

Nico Rosberg proved Lewis Hamilton will have to earn a home win at the British Grand Prix after the German led Friday's first practice at Silverstone.

The German held a seven tenths advantage over his team-mate with Fernando Alonso the only other man within a second in third.

The first session was a historic one for F1 as Susie Wolff became the first female driver in 22 years to participate in an official Grand Prix weekend, however, her big debut was cut short as oil pressure and engine problems restricted the Scot to just four laps.

Williams' day wasn't made any better as, also within the first 30 minutes of the hour-and-a-half session, Felipe Massa lost control of his FW36 on the Astroturf exiting Stowe and hit the wall on the inside severely damaging his car and bringing out the red flag.

One of the more unique characteristics is the high winds that blow across the former airfield at Silverstone, and once again, despite the sunshine, it was causing trouble for the drivers through the high-speed corners.

Several were seen running wide at the first right at Abbey while others misjudged the down wind braking zone into turn three at Village and ran off the track.

The final notable incident was to Caterham's Marcus Ericsson who lost control entering Maggotts and spun onto the grass eventually beaching his car on a small ridge.

For much of the session, however, it was about the speed of Rosberg as the German posted a 1:35 midway through.

As the spectators waited for a response from Hamilton it wasn't forthcoming as yellow flags and traffic spoiled any attempts to beat it.

Ferrari appear to have returned to form at a circuit they also go well at, with Fernando Alonso again best of the rest in third, Kimi Raikkonen too showed better pace taking fifth as the Red Bull's returned to the top.

Daniel Ricciardo had some late gearbox trouble though a quick software reboot appeared to cure the problem, while Sebastian Vettel had one of the more spectacular off-track moments throwing up the dust on the exit of Abbey.

Despite not seemingly attacking the circuit, Ricciardo ended up fourth quickest with Vettel a quarter of a second back in sixth.

With Williams out of the session the expected midfield battle was led by Jenson Button's McLaren with the two Toro Rosso's of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne sandwiched between Button and team-mate Kevin Magnussen who completed the top ten.

The best of the Friday reserve drivers was Daniel Juncadella in the Force India, also participating in his first official F1 session, the Spaniard was only three tenths slower than Sergio Perez albeit slower than all the race drivers with the exception of the Marussia's and the Caterham's.

In that battle Jules Bianchi again led the way, holding a near second advantage over British team-mate Max Chilton while Lotus' Pastor Maldonado failed to set a time because of engine problems in his E22.

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Formula 1
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