\(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)
Normal service resumed at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday morning as reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team 1-2 in Free Practice One completing 21 laps with a fastest time of 1m 39.033s. Nico Rosberg set a time of 1m 39.574s, like his team mate the German completed 21 laps.
Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest for the Italian team. Vettel, who won last time out in Malaysia set a fastest time of 1m 40.157s, 1.124s slower than Hamilton, completing 18 laps. Kimi Raikkonen set a time of 1m 40.661s, completing 27 laps. The Sauber F1 Team’s Felipe Nasr was fifth fastest for the Swiss based outfit with a time of 1m 41.012s, completing 18 laps.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat were sixth and seventh for the Milton Keynes based outfit. Ricciardo set a time of 1m 41.029s, the Australian’s time was 1.996s behind Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time. Daniil Kvyat completed 24 laps, the Russian set a fastest time of 1m 41.097s.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was eighth fastest for the Italian team completing 23 laps with a fastest time of 1m 41.112s, ending the session 2.079s behind Hamilton.
The Williams Martini Racing Team’s Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top ten with a time of 1m 41.303s. The Finn ended the session just ahead of team mate Felipe Massa who rounded out the top ten for the Grove based outfit who have shown great improvements so far this weekend. The Brazilian set a time of 1m 41.304s just 0.001s behind Bottas.
Pastor Maldonado was eleventh fastest for the Lotus F1 Team. The Venezuelan completed 23 laps with a time of 1m 41.335s completing 23 laps. Max Verstappen was 12th fastest in the second Toro Rosso with a time of 1m 41.575s completing 28 laps, the most of any other driver in pit-lane this morning.
McLaren Honda’s Jenson Button showed that the Woking based outfit have made a step forward from the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago as the 2009 world champion was 13th fastest with a time of 1m 41.812s, 2.812s. Button completed 19 laps.
The Sauber F1 Team’s Marcus Ericsson was 14th fastest for the Swiss based outfit setting a time of 1m 41.918s completing 24 laps. The Lotus F1 Team’s new test driver, GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer taking part in his first Free Practice session for the Enstone outfit was 15th fastest with a time of 1m 41.934s.
The Englishman completed 25 laps in E23 Hybrid as he drove in place of Romain Grosjean.
Sahara Force India F1 Team’s Sergio ‘Checco’ Perez was 16th fastest for the Silverstone based outfit completing 22 laps. The Mexican set a time of 1m 42.141s. Fernando Alonso was 17th fastest time of the morning session. The Spaniard completed 20 laps with a time of 1m 42.161s.
Nico Hulkenberg had a tough opening session in the second Sahara Force India as the German was down in 18th having set a time of 1m 42.184s completing 19 laps and ending the morning’s action 3.151s behind pace setter Lewis Hamilton.
The Manor F1 Team duo of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi ended this morning’s session rounding out the time sheets in 19th and 20th place respectively in the interim 2015 car.
© Ben Johnston 2015