FP1: Nico P1, more woe for Ferrari and McLaren


As expected, Mercedes once again dominated FP1 at the Red Bull Ring on Friday morning with Nico Rosberg fastest, but there were more problems for Ferrari and McLaren.

With all seven pole positions and six race victories, including four 1-2s, to their name already this season, Mercedes head into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix as the out and out favourites.

And they certainly delivered in the first session with Nico Rosberg's 1:10.401 by far the best of the morning with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton 0.308s off his time in second place.

Merc's only moment of concern was when Hamilton had some oversteer at the penultimate corner, locked up and nearly went into the barriers. However, he managed to slow down in time and got the car back on track. In fact quite a few drivers had issues there with Pirelli putting it down to the green and slippery track.

The biggest talking points from FP1 came from Ferrari and McLaren as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso saw limited track time.

Alonso, who has already revealed he will take a big penalty this weekend as he will change his power unit, barely left the McLaren garage before his car slowed down during his installation lap.

He cruised back to the pitlane and, although the team "found the problem and fixed it", he only managed a few laps later in the session and was down in P17. The other McLaren of Jenson Button was one place ahead of him.

Not long after Alonso's problem it was the turn of Vettel to suffer a breakdown with the four-time World Champion telling his team "I have lost drive and I'm stuck in fourth gear". 

The Ferrari driver failed to return to the track, but there was good news for the team as Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest, although he was 0.627s off Rosberg's fastest time while Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Nasr completed the top five.

Next were the Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, who will also take grid penalties this weekend for changing their engines, with Max Verstappen, Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez completing the top 10.

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m10.401s 36 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m10.709s 0.308s 28 laps
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m11.028s 0.627s 22 laps
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m11.452s 1.051s 26 laps
5 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1m11.633s 1.232s 28 laps
6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1m11.642s 1.241s 31 laps
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m11.724s 1.323s 29 laps
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1m11.825s 1.424s 38 laps
9 Felipe Massa Williams 1m11.890s 1.489s 29 laps
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1m11.905s 1.504s 37 laps
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1m11.948s 1.547s 32 laps
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1m12.004s 1.603s 34 laps
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m12.031s 1.630s 36 laps
14 Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1m12.050s 1.649s 27 laps
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1m12.159s 1.758s 30 laps
16 Jenson Button McLaren 1m12.920s 2.519s 30 laps
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m13.272s 2.871s 10 laps
18 Will Stevens Marussia 1m13.937s 3.536s 29 laps
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia 1m15.459s 5.058s 11 laps
20 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m15.684s 5.283s 4 laps