Mercedes dominate opening practice in Red Bull's backyard

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Mercedes got their Austrian Grand Prix weekend off to a strong start with a one-two in first practice at the Red Bull Ring.

The Silver Arrows are looking to get back to winning ways after reliability issues cost them victory in Canada and, on pace at least, they look set to do so. World championship leader Nico Rosberg was quickest, posting a 1m11.295 with team-mate Lewis Hamilton second, a little under two-tenths in arrears. 

Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari, ahead of Felipe Massa's Williams and McLaren man Jenson Button. Alonso was the only non-Mercedes-powered car in the top-nine, with the Renault-powered Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne also punching above his weight in 10th. 

Red Bull had a poor start to their home grand prix weekend, with the circuit's long straights not flattering their Renault engines. Canadian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo was 13th while Sebastian Vettel was 15th after a lurid spin, though fortunately the four-time champion did not make contact with the barriers. 

Austrian Grand Prix - Free Practice One 

  1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  3. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
  4. Felipe Massa (Williams-Mercedes)
  5. Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)
  6. Sergio Perez (Force India-Mercedes)
  7. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India-Mercedes)
  8. Valtteri Bottas (Williams-Mercedes)
  9. Kevin Magnussen (McLaren-Mercedes)
  10. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso-Renault)