Result: Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton sets pace in first practice of German Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on April 13, 2013
© AP Photos
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton records the fastest time during the first practice session ahead of the German Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has made a strong start to his campaign at the German Grand Prix by clocking the fastest time in the first practice session of the day.

Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were the first drivers to head out onto the 5.148km circuit, but it was a poor start for Alonso as he was forced to pull his Ferrari off the track with a mechanical fault.

The Spaniard, who returned to the pits while marshals removed the car, managed to slip back onto the circuit after his garage recovered an electrical problem, only to be sent back to the pits.

The first session ended up being dominated by Mercedes, with Hamilton and Nico Rosberg tussling for the top spot, but it was Hamilton who came out 0.219 seconds faster than his teammate with a time of 1:31.754.

Mark Webber clocked the third quickest time in his Red Bull, while Force India's Adrian Sutil secured fourth ahead of Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel finished eighth with a time of 1:33.213, while Jenson Button placed just above him 1.3 seconds off the pace.

Frist practice full standings:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
3. Mark Webber (Red Bull)
4. Adrian Sutil (Force India)
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
6. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
7. Jenson Button (McLaren)
8. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
9. Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
10. Sergio Perez (McLaren)
11. Paul di Resta (Force India)
12. Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)
13. Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
14. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)
15. Pastor Maldonado (Williams)
16. Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
17. Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber)
18. Charles Pic (Caterham)
19. Max Chilton (Marussia)
20. Giedo van der Garde (Caterham)
21. Rodolfo Gonzalez (Marussia)
22. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) - No time


Second place Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso celebrates on the podium spraying champagne to the winner Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel on June 9, 2013
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes357
2Ferrari318
3Red Bull184
4Force India101
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso39
7Haas29
8Renault26
9McLaren11
10Sauber5
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari202
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes188
3Valtteri BottasMercedes169
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari116
6Max VerstappenRed Bull67
7Sergio PerezForce India56
8Esteban OconForce India45
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso35
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren10
16Pascal WehrleinSauber5
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Jolyon PalmerRenault0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
23Paul di RestaWilliams-Mercedes0