F1 2013 German Grand Prix: Hamilton fastest at the Nurburgring

PUBLISHED: 10:58 05 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:00 05 July 2013

Lewis Hamilton congratulates Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg on winning the 2013 British Grand Prix at Silverstone [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton congratulates Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg on winning the 2013 British Grand Prix at Silverstone [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

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FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton was fastest in first practice for the 2013 German Grand Prix.

The 28-year-old Mercedes F1 star from Hertfordshire set the pace around the Nurburgring circuit this morning (Friday).

He posted a lap of 1m 31.754s to top the timesheets ahead of Silver Arrows colleague Nico Rosberg.

British Grand Prix winner Rosberg was P2 with a time of 1m 31.973s in Germany.

Situated deep in the Eifel mountains, the Nurburgring is one of the most iconic circuits in motorsport.

2013 German Grand Prix

Nurburgring facts and stats

* Race distance: 60 laps (308.623km/191.778 miles)

* Start time: 14:00 (local)/12:00 (GMT)

* Circuit length: 5.148km/3.199 miles

* 2011 winner: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren MP4-26) 60 laps in 1hr37m30.334s (189.911km/h)

* 2011 pole: Mark Webber (Red Bull RB7) 1m30.079s (205.739km/h)

*Lap record: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m29.468s (207.144km/h)

The modern grand prix track lies adjacent to the original 14-mile Nordschleife that was a regular fixture on the Formula 1 calendar between 1951 and 1976.

The circuit – nicknamed the ‘green hell’ by drivers – was eventually deemed too dangerous for F1 and today’s ’Ring was built in time for the European Grand Prix of 1984.

Since 2008, the German Grand Prix has been shared between the Nurburgring and Hockenheim, 100 miles to the south.

Each circuit hosts the race in alternate years, the Nurburgring last hosting the event in 2011, when Stevenage-born Hamilton dominated proceedings to give McLaren its eighth German GP win.

The Nurburgring’s modern layout has remained largely unchanged since 1984.

The first sector was tweaked in 2002 to promote overtaking into Turn 1, but the track has retained its technical challenge and is quick to highlight any weaknesses in car or driver.

The predominance of slow and medium-speed corners encourages the cars to run with maximum downforce and the smooth track surface allows Pirelli to use its Medium and Soft rubber compounds in an effort to maximise mechanical grip.

As is the norm this season, there are two DRS zones at the Nurburgring. One is on the start-finish straight and the other on the approach to the chicane, Turn 13.

On both occasions the cars are expected to exceed 300km/h, which should provide good slipstreaming opportunities during the race.

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