Mercedes comfortably quickest in first practice

2013 Chinese Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Shanghai, 2013The same drivers who filled the top four in the Malaysian Grand Prix headed the times in first practice at Shanghai – but in the reverse order.

Nico Rosberg was comfortably fastest, almost half a second quicker than team mate Lewis Hamilton and nearly a second up on Mark Webber’s Red Bull.

Sunny conditions greeted drivers at the track for the first hour and a half of running. Following the usual half-hour lull after the first installation laps Jenson Button led the early running with a time of 1’38.262.

Kimi Raikkonen joined the track moments after and had just gone third fastest when he spun between turns nine and ten, without damaging the Lotus.

The Mercedes drivers returned to the track shortly afterwards and it was Rosberg who led the way, swapping best sector times with Hamilton, who had been unwell on Thursday.

Behind the two Red Bulls Fernando Alonso was fifth-quickest, followed by Jenson Button an Adrian Sutil. Both Force Indias were in the top ten along with Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.

Esteban Gutierrez joined Raikkonen in going off the track. The Sauber driver understeered wide in the long first corner.

Ma Qing Hua became the first non-race driver to appear in practice this year. More significantly he was also the first Chinese driver to participate in his home race weekend.

As the session came to an end Sergio Perez attacked the pit-lane entry too hard and understeered off into the barrier. He came to a stop in the same gravel trap where his McLaren’s predecessor Lewis Hamilton’s race famously ended in 2007.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’36.717 21
2 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’37.171 0.454 20
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’37.658 0.941 21
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.942 1.225 20
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.965 1.248 17
6 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’38.069 1.352 25
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’38.095 1.378 14
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’38.125 1.408 21
9 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’38.398 1.681 17
10 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’38.561 1.844 15
11 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’38.790 2.073 16
12 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.057 2.340 19
13 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’39.158 2.441 22
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.180 2.463 21
15 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.336 2.619 19
16 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’39.360 2.643 20
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’39.392 2.675 21
18 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.032 3.315 22
19 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’41.966 5.249 16
20 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.056 5.339 18
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’42.083 5.366 21
22 20 Ma Qing Hua Caterham-Renault 1’43.545 6.828 20

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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