Hamilton on top in German Grand Prix practice

Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:02pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

HOCKENHEIM Germany (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton denied Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg the satisfaction of lapping fastest at his home German Grand Prix on Friday.

With track temperatures soaring, Hamilton set a sizzling pace with a quickest lap of one minute 18.341 seconds in the afternoon session.

Formula One world championship leader Rosberg, who had been fastest before lunch with a best of 1:19.131, was second on the timesheets a mere 0.024 off Hamilton's pace.

Dominant Mercedes, seeking their first German Grand Prix victory as a works team since Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio triumphed 60 years ago at the Nuerburgring, finished one-two in both sessions.

Friday was the first chance to assess the performance of cars since the governing body ruled against a front and rear interconnected suspension (FRIC) system.

All teams had presented their cars for scrutineering without the systems on Thursday but the times showed no seismic change in the pecking order even if champions Red Bull appeared to have edged slightly closer.

"It was quite difficult to find the balance with the track being so hot and it is a tricky circuit to drive in general," said Hamilton.

"The car is a bit different now as everyone made some setup changes in a different direction to what we've had in the past, but it's still fun to drive."   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton from Great Britain speeds during the second free practice of the German F1 Grand Prix at the Hockenheim racing circuit, July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder