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F1 2016: Belgium Gp Free Practice 1 Report – Rosberg On Top

Nico Rosberg, German Grand Prix qualifying

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg topped the timing sheet at the end of the first free practice session for the 2016 Belgian grand prix.

The Formula 1 season resumed after its summer break with the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit bathed in glorious sunshine. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg set the quickest time of the 90 minute session with a time of 1:48:348 ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton who set a time of 1:49:078. Both Mercedes drivers set their quickest time of the session on the red-walled supersoft tyre.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the third quickest time at a 1:49:147 but only ran the yellow-walled soft tyre. Sergio Perez was fourth for Force India as the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top five.

Several drivers including Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo ran the Halo head protection system in an installation lap as further development ahead of the introduction of the system. Pirelli further offered teams two prototype set of tyres to test in preparation for 2017. The test tyres were focused on the construction of the tyre as opposed to outright performance.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer lost the last twenty minutes of the session with a technical issue. However, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso failed to set a lap time as his car suffered a water leak early in the session. It has been confirmed that Lewis Hamilton will incur a 15 place grid penalty after changing two elements his power unit.

Final Standings Free Practice 1:

Pos. Driver Team Best Time Gap Lap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:48.348s 27
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:49.078s 0.730 25
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:49.147s 0.799 24
4 Sergio Perez Force India 1:49.274s 0.926 23
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:49.768s 1.420 19
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:49.782s 1.434 24
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:49.865s 1.517 24
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:50.088s 1.740 21
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:50.394s 2.046 31
10 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:50.583s 2.235 21
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:50.899s 2.551 18
12 Felipe Massa Williams 1:51.122s 2.774 28
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:51.125s 2.777 16
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:51.424s 3.076 17
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:51.768s 3.420 19
16 Esteban Ocon Manor 1:51.787s 3.439 26
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:52.308s 3.960 19
18 Jenson Button McLaren 1:52.407s 4.059 18
19 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:52.837s 4.489 23
20 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:53.053s 4.705 20
21 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:53.089s 4.741 20
Fernando Alonso McLaren 3


About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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