(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set the fastest times of the opening practice session of the 2015 Formula One season in Australia’s Albert Park Melbourne circuit.
Nico Rosberg’s time of 1m 29.557s saw the German end the session just ahead of Lewis Hamilton with Williams Martini Racing Team’s Valtteri Bottas in third place for the Grove based outfit with a time of 1m 30.748s.
It was a fantastic session for the Scuderia Toro Rosso pair as Carlos Sainz Jnr finished in fourth place with a 1m 31.014s finishing the session just ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel while teenager Max Verstappen finished the session in 6th place with a 1m 31.067s.
The Williams Martini Racing Team’s Felipe Massa was seventh fastest in the FW37 while Kimi Raikkonen was 8th fastest in the second Ferrari.
The Lotus F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado did a great job for the Enstone outfit as he finished the session in ninth place with a 1m 31.451s ending the morning in ninth place just ahead of Infiniti Red Bull Racing Daniel Ricciardo who set a time of 1m 31.570s and finished the session just ahead of team mate Daniil Kvyat.
Sergio Perez was 12th fastest for the Sahara Force India Formula One Team ending the morning just ahead of team mate Nico Hulkenberg with a time of 1m 32.247s.
The McLaren Honda duo of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were 13th and 14th fastest respectively despite suffering from what were described as small mechanical issues. Romain Grosjean got out on track just at the end of the session after the Lotus F1 Team fixed an issue with the floor on his E23 Hybrid, the Frenchman was the last driver to set a time as neither Sauber nor Manor cars got out on track.
It remains unclear if the Manor F1 Team will race this weekend but it is great to see the team back in the Paddock. As for Sauber it is completely unclear what is going on there and is in the hands of the lawyers and the Supreme Court in Victoria.
© Ben Johnston 2015