HOCKENHEIM, NETRALNEWS.COM - Ferrari riders dominated the course of the first free practice session of the German Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel scored the fastest time in the Germany GP free practice session at the Hockenheim Circuit on Friday (7/26/2019), followed by his team-mate, Charles Leclerc in second place.
The four-time world champion devoured the 4.5km-long circuit, which is about half an hour by land from his hometown in Heppenheim, in 1 minute 14.013 seconds in a morning training session, Reuters said.
Leclerc overshadowed the German rider 0.255 seconds behind.
Lewis Hamilton was 0.302 seconds adrift of being the third fastest for Mercedes, who brought a car with a special livery to commemorate 125 years of involvement of the German manufacturer in the racing world.
The Briton, who leads the rider standings with 39 points ahead of his closest rivals and teammate Valtteri Bottas, is concerned that the hot air flow that covers Europe could hurt the performance of Mercedes cars.
The day's track temperature reaches 40 degrees Celsius with ambient temperatures above 30 degrees.
Hamilton, who has won seven of the 10 races this season, lost quickly to Vettel that morning because of using medium tires, while the host rider used soft compound tires.
The five-time world champion and Bottas could lead a training session before Ferrari kicked off at the end of the session with soft tires.
Bottas ended the FP1 session in fifth place, among two Red Bull Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly riders.
The Finnish rider widened at the corner where Vettel crashed in the German GP race last year but was able to avoid gravel and not damage his car.
Carlos Sainz finished seventh for McLaren, while Romain Grosjean used a car that had the same specifications as he used at the Australian GP to finish eighth for Haas.
Lance Stroll finished ninth for Racing Point while Daniel Ricciardo completed the top 10 for Renault despite having to spin on the track.
The FP1 free training session was suspended after the Haas car driven by Kevin Magnussen stopped on the track due to loss of power.