Rosberg on top, problems for Vettel

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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg topped the opening free practice session for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari stopped early and was last.

The 29-year-old took the initiative early in the session, when the field was running on its first set of soft-compound Pirelli that must be discarded after 30 minutes, setting a best time of 1m10.401s to put himself 1.1 seconds ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

While the fastest times overall are usually set in the final hour of the 90-minute session when drivers use their second set of tyres, pacesetter Rosberg did not improve.

But his time was good enough to stay fastest, because while Hamilton closed to 0.308s off Rosberg, a wide moment in the final corner and a big lock-up at Turn 1 prevented him from challenging his team-mate.

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Steve Johnson

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