Hamilton sets benchmark in Shanghai

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton continued Mercedes’ dominance of the 2014 Formula 1 season after setting the pace in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Brit encountered balance issues with his W05 in Free Practice 1 but his team rectified the problems for the second session, as he topped the times ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton set a benchmark time of 1m38.315s which was just 0.141s quicker than last year’s Chinese Grand Prix winner Alonso in a rapidly improving Ferrari.

The Spaniard, who topped the times in Free Practice 1, starred in front of his new Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci, who replaced Stefano Domenicali this week.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg confirmed Mercedes‘ impressive pace by recording the third fastest time. Both Hamilton and Rosberg were trialling brand new front wings for the Brackley-based team.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest for Red Bull with a best time almost two tenths of a second quicker than his four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Williams driver Felipe Massa posted the sixth fastest time while Kimi Raikkonen was seventh ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Lotus enjoyed their most encouraging day of the season so far as Romain Grosjean showed the potential of the E22 by setting a time good enough for ninth spot.

However, his team-mate Pastor Maldonado produced the only real incident in the session when he crashed in to the pit lane entry, which brought his session to a premature end after just 12 laps.

Rookie Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10 following an impressive showing for Toro Rosso.

Free Practice 1

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.783s 20
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.181s +0.398s 16
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m40.772s +0.989s 23
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.970s +1.187s 23
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercede 1m41.175s +1.392s 16
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.366s +1.583s 20
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.505s +1.722s 26
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m41.560s +1.777s 9
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.629s +1.846s 19
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m41.699s +1.916s 14
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.977s +2.194s 23
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m42.090s +2.307s 24
13 Felipe Nasr Williams-Mercedes 1m42.265s +2.482s 13
14 Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.615s +2.832s 16
15 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercede 1m42.733s +2.950s 13
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m43.731s +3.948s 22
17 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m44.038s +4.255s 16
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m44.162s +4.379s 17
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m44.270s +4.487s 7
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m44.782s +4.999s 20
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m44.835s +5.052s 22
22 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1

 Free Practice 2

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.315s 25
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.456s +0.141s 28
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.726s +0.411s 30
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m38.811s +0.496s 30
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.015s +0.700s 31
6 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m39.118s +0.803s 25
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.283s +0.968s 25
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.491s +1.176s 29
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.537s +1.222s 36
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.648s +1.333s 26
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m39.736s +1.421s 30
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.744s +1.429s 29
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.759s +1.444s 28
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m39.830s +1.515s 25
15 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m40.124s +1.809s 32
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.359s +2.044s 32
17 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.395s +2.080s 30
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m40.455s +2.140s 12
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m42.327s +4.012s 27
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.473s +5.158s 30
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m43.530s +5.215s 32
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m43.679s +5.364s 32

See below for Speedcafe.com’s expert guide to the Chinese Grand Prix.

*Stay with Speedcafe.com for all the latest news from the Chinese GP this weekend


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