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2013 Chinese GP: Practice 1

2013-04-12 07:42

ROSBERG LEADS MERCEDES 1-2: Could Nico Rosberg claim Mercedes' first win of the 2013 season along with his second Chinese GP win in a row in Shanghai? Image: AFP

SHANGHAI, China - Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes 1-2 in first practice ahead of Sunday's 2013 ChineseF1  Grand Prix, clocking a blistering lap that was nearly half a second quicker than his team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg, whose only GP victory so far was at the same Shanghai circuit in 2012, set the benchmark with a lap of 1min36.717. Hamilton was 0.454sec off his pace-setting team mate.

The Red Bull pair of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel finished third and fourth quickest. Vettel, the reigning World champion, who infuriated his team mate by snatching victory in Malaysia, was 1.225sec off Rosberg.

KIMI FALLING BEHIND?

Double World champion Fernando Alonso was fifth-fastest in the dry but hazy conditions. Sandwiched between him and his Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa was the McLaren of another former World champion Jenson Button.

Force India's Adrian Sutil, Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Sutil's team mate Paul di Resta, completed the top 10.

Kimi Raikkonen, winner of the 2013 season-opening race in Melbourne, was only 11th fastest in his Lotus, more than two seconds slower than Rosberg.

Qualifying wil l be on April 13 and the race, the third of the new season, on April 14.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.

2013 Chinese Grand Prix: First practice times
1 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1min36.717
2 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1min37.171
3 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing 1min37.658
4 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing 1min37.942
5 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 1min37.965
6 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 1min38.069
7 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1min38.095
8 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India 1min38.125
9 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 1min38.398
10 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India 1min38.561
11 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus 1min38.790
12 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 1min39.057
13 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams 1min39.158
14 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber 1min39.180
15 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1min39.336
16 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren Mercedes 1min39.360
17 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams 1min39.392
18 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber 1min40.032
19 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia 1min41.966
20 Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia 1min42.056
21 Giedo van der Garde (NED) Caterham 1min42.083
22 Ma Qinghua (CHN) Caterham 1min43.545
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