Vettel heads Ferrari one-two in FP1
Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the Scuderia Ferrari on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Germany at Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo credit: Lars Baron,Getty Images)

Vettel heads Ferrari one-two in FP1

Sebastian Vettel opened his home Grand Prix weekend by topping the pile in the opening practice session, ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc.

matthewwatkinson
Matthew Watkinson

In tricky conditions, with extreme track and air temperatures, the Ferrari and the Red Bull continued to look the most comfortable in the early stages.

The Ferrari’s made use of the fastest soft tyre to relegate the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton to third, after the Brit used the medium compound, but was only three tenths off the pace.

After suffering with the soaring track temperatures and cooling issues in Austria, early signs were that the Mercedes seem to be coping much better in similar conditions at Germany but were still behind the Ferrari’s.

Late session spins

After a relatively quiet session, the final minutes burst into life. Valtteri Bottas, who had several edgy moments throughout the session, was lucky to escape any damage after making a mistake at Turn 13 and skidded into the gravel trap narrowly avoiding any damage.

Seconds after Bottas’ spin, Daniel Ricciardo mounted the outer Kerb at Turn 1, but was also able to get the car facing the right way before the session drew to a close.

Both Mercedes drivers had several hairy moments, with Hamilton carrying too much speed on the entry to the final corner, but the Brit escaped with slightly dirty tyres.

Haas’s struggles looked set to continue this weekend as midway through the first practice session, Kevin Magnussen’s car ground to a halt as he reported an apparent loss of power, causing the session to be red-flagged.

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New upgrades impress

The Racing Point’s were running an upgraded package in the first session, and with Sergio Perez in eleventh and Lance Stroll in ninth, they looked like they may have a more competitive car in the midfield battle this weekend.

Even further back in the field, Kubica's Williams was running the latest spec package and was half a second ahead of his teammate George Russell.

First Practice results

1. Sebastian Vettel – 1:14.013

2. Charles Leclerc – 1:14.268

3. Lewis Hamilton – 1:14.315

4. Max Verstappen – 1:14.330

5. Valtteri Bottas – 1:14.660

6. Pierre Gasly – 1:14.813

7. Carlos Sainz – 1:15.062

8. Romain Grosjean – 1:15.074

9. Lance Stroll – 1:15.191

10. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:15.567

11. Sergio Perez – 1:15.604

12. Lando Norris – 1:15.616

13. Kevin Magnussen – 1:15.759

14. Daniil Kvyat – 1:15.776

15. Alex Albon – 1:15.777

16. Nico Hulkenburg – 1:15.823

17. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:15.953

18. Antonio Giovinazzi – 1:16.382

19. Robert Kubica – 1:16.559

20. George Russell – 1:17.126

 

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