Mercedes comfortably ahead in first practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

Mercedes left no doubt who is the team to beat this season, easily leading first practice in China. Lewis Hamilton proved fastest the morning, more than half a second quicker than his teammate, who in his behalf also had more than half a second on Sebastian Vettel.

Even though Ferrari still appears to be on form, the gap to Mercedes in first practice was considerable. Raikkonen was 4th fastest, and along with Nasr and Ricciardo the only men managing to stay within two seconds off of Hamilton's pace setting lap.

As is common in first free practice sessions, this 90 minute session was marked by several off track moments as drivers tried to find the limits of their cars. Both Mercedes and Toro Rosso drivers, along with Ericsson, Maldonado and the debuting GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer explored parts of the track outside the white lines, none however with much damage.

Results

PNo.NameTeamBest TimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:39.033-21
26Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:39.5740.54121
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:40.1571.12418
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:40.6611.62827
512Felipe NasrSauber1:41.0121.97918
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:41.0291.99621
726Daniil KvyatRed Bull Racing1:41.0972.06424
855Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:41.1122.07923
977Valtteri BottasWilliams1:41.3032.27023
1019Felipe MassaWilliams1:41.3042.27117
1113Pastor MaldonadoLotus F11:41.3352.30223
1233Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:41.5752.54228
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:41.8452.81219
149Marcus EricssonSauber1:41.9182.88524
1530Jolyon PalmerLotus F11:41.9672.93425
1611Sergio PerezForce India1:42.1413.10822
1714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:42.1613.12820
1827Nico HulkenbergForce India1:42.1843.15119
1928Will StevensMarussia1:45.3796.34618
2098Roberto MerhiMarussia1:46.4437.41020