The first practice session of the 2014 Formula 1 season did not follow the script. In the weeks leading up to Melbourne, all the talk was about the speed and reliability of the Mercedes and the disaster at Red Bull.
But it turned out to be Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes W05 who claimed the dubious honor of being the first car to pull off the side of the track, just a lap into the session.
By the end, Alonso scored the best time, the only driver in the 1:31s with 20 laps. The biggest surprise was Red Bull, not so much with their speed but that they managed 26 laps with Ricciardo and a more modest 10 with Vettel. Given the pre-race reports that has to be...an improvement anyway.
Not everything deviated from script, both Lotus' spent most of the session in the pits. When Maldonado finally went out on track, he almost put it in the wall. Grojean never made it out of the garage.
Oh, and Chilton ran over one of his pit crew but at least he put a time on the board which is more than Hamilton, Kobayashi, Ericson, Maldonado and Grojean can say.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.840s 20 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.357s +0.517s 23 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m32.403s +0.563s 27 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m32.431s +0.591s 19 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m32.599s +0.759s 26 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.604s +0.764s 17 7. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m32.793s +0.953s 10 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.847s +1.007s 28 9. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m32.977s +1.137s 18 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m33.446s +1.606s 30 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m33.533s +1.693s 23 12. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m33.855s +2.015s 24 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m34.272s +2.432s 27 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.578s +3.738s 7 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.445s +4.605s 13 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m40.859s +9.019s 6 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m46.922s +15.082s 4 18. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1 19. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1 21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2 22. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2