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Raikkonen on top as Ferrari star in China practice

Speedcafe.com

Friday 15th April, 2016 - 6:00pm

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Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen emerged as the man to beat as Ferrari showcased encouraging pace to claim a one-two in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Finn edged his four-time world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.1s as the Maranello team pipped its arch Mercedes rivals in the second 90 minute session at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Raikkonen’s session best time came on the super-soft tyres with Vettel also utilising the same compound to post his effort early in the session.

Mercedes Nico Rosberg was third fastest 0.2s adrift of Raikkonen, with the German among the first to fit super-soft tyres in the hit-out.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton was fourth a further 0.2s back but comfortably ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.

Following a flurry of fast times early in the session, Ferrari and Mercedes focussed on long runs with the former electing to run lengthy stints on the super-soft rubber.

Mercedes however split its strategy with Rosberg running softs while Hamilton fitted mediums to his W07.

Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was sixth fastest while Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams) completed the top 10.

Fernando Alonso, who has received the all-clear to compete this weekend, ended the day in 11th position ahead of McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.

Felipe Massa recovered from an eventful opening practice to log 34 laps as he posted a time good enough for 14th position.

The Williams driver brought out the red flags early in the morning hit-out when his left rear tyre came off its rim sending him into a high speed spin.

The Brazilian suffered an almost identical tyre failure when the session resumed.

Pirelli claims the tyres suffered no signs of a puncture. Two wheel rim failures were suspected to be the cause of the problem before Williams blamed the issues on a set up error.

Renault’s Kevin Magnussen also suffered a tyre failure which is thought to have been caused by the debris from Massa’s incident.

However, investigations into the cause saw the Dane sit out the second session.

Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix is scheduled to begin at 1700 AEST.

Result: Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix Practice 1

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.037s 16
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.183s +0.146s 16
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.665s +0.628s 12
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:39.061s +1.024s 13
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:39.155s +1.118s 11
6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:39.625s +1.588s 14
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:39.676s +1.639s 12
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:39.974s +1.937s 11
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:40.169s +2.132s 13
10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:40.232s +2.195s 13
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:40.347s +2.310s 15
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:40.538s +2.501s 11
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:40.828s +2.791s 10
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:41.358s +3.321s 9
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:41.393s +3.356s 18
16 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1:41.614s +3.577s 20
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:41.816s +3.779s 16
18 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1:42.908s +4.871s 14
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:42.980s +4.943s 8
20 Kevin Magnussen Renault No time posted 6
21 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari No time posted 2
22 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes No time posted 4

Result: Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix Practice 2 

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.896s 35
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:37.005s +0.109s 33
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.133s +0.237s 33
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.329s +0.433s 33
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:38.143s +1.247s 31
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:38.268s +1.372s 28
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:38.527s +1.631s 31
8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:38.542s +1.646s 32
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:38.569s +1.673s 31
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:38.723s +1.827s 34
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:38.728s +1.832s 31
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:38.828s +1.932s 28
13 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:39.178s +2.282s 31
14 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:39.214s +2.318s 34
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:39.774s +2.878s 32
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:39.890s +2.994s 22
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1:39.941s +3.045s 36
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:39.979s +3.083s 35
19 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1:40.550s +3.654s 33
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:41.066s +4.170s 32
21 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1:42.954s +6.058s 4

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