The first official session of Formula 1 in 2015 got underway on Friday morning in Melbourne, Australia, and it was a familiar tale, as Mercedes eased to the top of the timing screens, Rosberg a smidgeon (0.029 Sec) faster than Hamilton.
First on track was F1’s youngest ever driver Max Verstappen. After a tough time in testing, McLaren also got Kevin Magnussen out on track early. The Dane deputising for Fernando Alonso.
David Croft had some words regarding McLaren’s car, which had a tough time in testing:
The MP4-30 makes a rasping noise on downshift that sounds like an old 1950s blues singer clearing his throat.”
Whatever the noise may be, McLaren’s morning went as well as can be expected, with an unlucky 13 laps for their two drivers combined.
Magnussen did go wide at turn 3 after half an hour, as did many other drivers, including Felipe Massa.
McLaren had to end their running 15 minutes early due to what they described as a small mechanical issue.
Sebastian Vettel’s first outing in the car he has dubbed ‘Eva’ went well, and he clocked 5th fastest overall, despite an off at the super-fast Turn 11-12 complex toward the end of the session.
Sauber did not run due to the ongoing court case of Giedo van der Garde vs Sauber F1 Team, in which the Ductch driver is pursuing a race seat after unfair dismissal in 2014.
Times from Practice 1
1) Rosberg, Mercedes, 1.29.557 (19 Laps)
2) Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.29.586 (19 Laps)
3) Bottas, Williams, 1.30.748 (20 Laps)
4) Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1.31.014 (32 Laps)
5) Vettel, Ferrari, 1.31.029 (13 Laps)
6) Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1.31.067 (31 Laps)
7) Massa, Williams, 1.31.188 (19 Laps)
8) Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1.31.310 (14 Laps)
9) Maldonado, Lotus, 1.31.451 (22 Laps)
10) Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1.31.570 (9 Laps)
11) Kvyat, Red Bull, 1.32.073 (18 Laps)
12) Perez, Force India, 1.32.247 (22 Laps)
13) Hulkenberg, Force India, 1.32.261 (19 Laps)
14) Button, McLaren, 1.34.542 (6 Laps)
15) Magnussen, McLaren, 1.34.785 (7 Laps)
– No time –