Daniel Ricciardo finishes ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the first free practice session for the German Grand Prix
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 20, 2018 Updated: 11:46 AM PT
HOCKENHEIM, Germany -- Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took the fastest time ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the opening practice for Sunday's German Grand Prix which makes it’s return to the Formula One calendar for the first time since 2016.
Ricciardo finished with a margin of 0.004s ahead of Hamilton on the UltraSoft tire, the softest compound available this weekend. However, Riccardo will have some work to do in Sunday's race as he will have to start from the back of the grid after exceeding the amount of engine components allowed in the regulations.
Lewis Hamilton steps into the weekend on the heels of F1’s first triple header where he and the team struggled in the final two races.
Hamilton also starts the weekend signing a new two year contract with Mercedes. He will stay on with the silver arrows until 2020.
Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen finished third just 0.189s off Ricciardo and 0.271s ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in fourth. Valtteri Bottas finished fifth in the second Mercedes followed by Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.
Haas’s Romain Grosjean took seventh ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen in eighth as the American team is off to a positive start ahead of the weekend.
Rising Formula One star Charles Leclerc, who has continued to impress many with his performance this season, finished ninth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in tenth who took a wild ride thru the dirt after running wide at Turn 12.
Force India’s Sergio Perez finished 11th with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso in 12th. Lance Stroll finished 13th for Williams followed by Carlos Sainz, who only managed to put in 10 laps before the team discovered a coolant leak. This left him to finish the morning session in 14th.
Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley finished 15th, Williams Sergey Sirotkin finished 16th. Force India development driver Nicholas Latifi got some time behind the wheel of Esteban Ocon’s car as the 23 year old Canadian completed his second free practice of the season.
Pierre Gasly finished the morning session in 18th with Sauber reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi, getting some track time in place of Marcus Ericsson, finished 20th.