Friday, July 18, 2014
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Rosberg leads Mercedes one-two in practice

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[July 18, 2014]  By Alan Baldwin
 
 HOCKENHEIM Germany (Reuters) - Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg led team mate Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes one-two in first practice for the German's home grand prix on Friday.

The session was the first since the governing body ruled against a front and rear interconnected suspension (FRIC) system and all teams presented their cars for scrutineering without it on Thursday.

The times indicated little change in the pecking order however, with Rosberg setting a fastest lap of one minute 19.131 seconds and Hamilton 0.065 slower on a bright and hot Hockenheim morning.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who has won the last two races at the southern circuit which alternates with the Nuerburgring, was third fastest and 0.292 off the pace.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, the only driver other than the Mercedes pair to win a race this season, was fourth fastest with quadruple champion team mate and last year's German GP winner Sebastian Vettel sixth.

Further back, Susie Wolff had a second chance to make her mark among the men after her involvement at Silverstone two weeks ago was cut short due to an engine problem.

The first woman to take part in a grand prix weekend in 22 years managed 22 laps this time and ended up an impressive 15th fastest, only a fraction slower than the Force India of 14th placed Mexican Sergio Perez.

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Perez had made headlines in Britain when he jokingly told a Spanish television reporter that he would not want to be beaten by a woman driver. His time on Friday of 1:20.598 compared to Wolff's 1:20.769.

Brazilian Felipe Massa, the team's experienced regular, was only 11th fastest with a best time of 1:20.542.

Wolff's session was not without stress, however, and she hit trouble on her opening lap out of the garage when the car suffered a sensor problem.

(Editing by John O'Brien)

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