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German GP: Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 in first practice

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German GP: Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 in first practice
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Jul 26, 2019, 10:38 AM

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel topped the first Formula 1 free practice session of the German Grand Prix weekend at Hockenheim.

Vettel used soft rubber to knock teammate Charles Leclerc off the top spot by a quarter-of-a-second with 20 minutes remaining, setting a time of 1m14.013s.

Leclerc had used the same rubber to relegate Lewis Hamilton to third place, with the Mercedes drivers using medium tyres to set their best times having spent the first part of the session on softs.

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Hamilton, who was three tenths off the pace but having lagged behind Valtteri Bottas when on soft rubber, lapped almost three-and-a-half tenths quicker than him on softs.

This also allowed Red Bull driver Max Verstappen to split the pair, just 0.015s slower than Hamilton, to take fourth place.

Bottas ended his session with an off into the gravel at Turn 12 after a lock-up with two minutes remaining, but was able to dig himself out and return to the pits - scattering gravel on the track as he went.

Pierre Gasly struggled early on with vibration issues, but was able to climb to sixth using soft rubber in the final half-hour.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz, who spent the early stages of the session fastest when on hard rubber, climbed back to seventh just before the half-hour mark when he bolted on softs.

That put him 0.012s ahead of the Haas driver Romain Grosjean, who set his time moments before Sainz.

Grosjean is running the specification of Haas that was used in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, continuing the back-to-back experiment of the last race at Silverstone with Kevin Magnussen now running the latest, upgraded, version.

Lance Stroll, in the heavily-upgraded Racing Point, was ninth fastest having concentrated on using medium Pirellis, comfortably ahead of the lead Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, who set his time on softs.

Ricciardo had a spin late in the session at Turn 1, but was able to recover.

Sergio Perez was 11th fastest in the second Racing Point, also using mediums, and just ahead of the second McLaren of Lando Norris.

Magnussen was 13th after returning to the track shortly after causing an eight-minute red flag early on when he stopped in the stadium section.

The problem was revealed to be a sensor - he reported over the radio that "I have some sort of alarm and no power" – so after being towed back to the pits he was ready to go again.

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Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat set 14th fastest time ahead of teammate Alex Albon, who switched halo during the session having initially run a more basic version before returning the usual spec with aero faring.

Nico Hulkenberg was 16th in the second Renault ahead of Alfa Romeo duo Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Robert Kubica was 19th in the upgraded Williams, lapping almost six tenths faster than teammate George Russell.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 21 1'14.013
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 25 1'14.268 0.255
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 32 1'14.315 0.302
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 28 1'14.330 0.317
5 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 28 1'14.660 0.647
6 France Pierre Gasly
Red Bull 23 1'14.813 0.800
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 30 1'15.062 1.049
8 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 30 1'15.074 1.061
9 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point 26 1'15.191 1.178
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 23 1'15.567 1.554
11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 24 1'15.604 1.591
12 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 26 1'15.616 1.603
13 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 27 1'15.759 1.746
14 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso 30 1'15.776 1.763
15 Thailand Alex Albon
Toro Rosso 24 1'15.777 1.764
16 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault 23 1'15.823 1.810
17 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 26 1'15.953 1.940
18 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 31 1'16.382 2.369
19 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams 27 1'16.559 2.546
20 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 23 1'17.126 3.113
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event German GP
Author Edd Straw