Mercedes duo set the pace in opening Shangahi session

Speedcafe.com

Friday 12th April, 2013 - 2:47pm

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Hamilton and Rosberg

Hamilton and Rosberg

Nico Rosberg and Mercedes have kicked off their campaign for a second successive Chinese Grand Prix victory in strong fashion by topping the opening 90 minute practice session of the weekend.

The fastest times were all set at the end of the first hour before the field switched to high fuel runs.

Rosberg’s 1:36.72s best proved 0.45s quicker than that of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

The best non-Mercedes entry, the Red Bull of Mark Webber, was almost a full second adrift of the pace-setting German.

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso completed the top five, while Jenson Button was a promising sixth for McLaren.

Sergio Perez endured a difficult end to proceedings in the second McLaren, beaching his MP4-28 in the pit entry gravel trap.

Kimi Raikkonen also endured a wild moment by spinning his Lotus at Turn 9, but was able to continue undamaged.

Chinese driver Qing Hua Ma, who has previous Formula 1 testing experience with the now defunct HRT outfit, made his debut with Caterham at the foot of the time sheets.

A second 90 minute session later this afternoon will complete the day’s Formula 1 action.

See below for the full Practice 1 result

Pos

Driver

Team

Time/Retired

Gap

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:36.717
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.171 0.454
3 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:37.658 0.941
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:37.942 1.225
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:37.965 1.248
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:38.069 1.352
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:38.095 1.378
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:38.125 1.408
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:38.398 1.681
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:38.561 1.844
11 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:38.790 2.073
12 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:39.057 2.340
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:39.158 2.441
14 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:39.180 2.463
15 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:39.336 2.619
16 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.360 2.643
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:39.392 2.675
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:40.032 3.315
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:41.966 5.249
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:42.056 5.339
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:42.083 5.366
22 Qing Hua Ma Caterham-Renault 1:43.545 6.828

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