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Schumi trumps Hamilton in China

2012-04-13 10:27

SETTING THE PACE: Michael Schumacher sets the pace during the second free practice session. Has Mercedes worked out the quirks in its 2012 contender?

Michael Schumacher returned to the scene of his 91st and last Formula 1 victory to set the fastest lap for Mercedes during the second free practice session in China.

Schumacher, whose most recent win was with Ferrari in Shanghai in 2006, lapped the circuit with a best time of 1min35.973 after McLaren's Lewis Hamilton set the pace during the first session.

Hamilton, who will have a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change, was second-fastest.


Hamilton, the 2011 race winner and the only driver to have won twice in Shanghai, completed only seven laps in the morning but topped the timing screens with a 1min37.106 lap.

With a damp start to the session after overnight rain, Hamilton was happy to save his tyres in the knowledge that he will need every strategic advantage if he is to celebrate his first win of the season.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Schumacher, whose team saw off a protest by rivals Lotus over their controversial rear wing, were second and third quickest respectively in the first session.

Mexican Sergio Perez, who took his Sauber to a stunning second place in Malaysia in March 2012, was fourth in the morning ahead of Japanese team mate Kamui Kobayashi but top teams pushed them back in the afternoon.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel ended the day third fastest with team mate Mark Webber fourth.

Ferrari seemed mired in problems again, with championship leader Fernando Alonso lapping 11th and 10th fastest in the two sessions. Team mate Felipe Massa was 17th in the afternoon.

Vettel, who has yet to win in 2012 or qualify on the front row after dominating in 2011, was using a different exhaust set-up to Webber.

Force India's reserve Jules Bianchi made his practice debut, replacing Britain's Paul Di Resta for the first session.

Times from Friday’s second free practice session for Sunday's 2012 Chinese F1 GP

1 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1min35.973 seconds
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1min36.145
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1min36.160
4 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1min36.433
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1min36.617
6 Jenson Button McLaren 1min36.711
7 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1min36.956
8 Paul di Resta Force India 1min36.966
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India    1min37.191
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min37.316
11 Sergio Perez Sauber    1min37.417
12 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1min37.616
13 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1min37.836
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1min37.930
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1min37.972
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1min38.176
17 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min38.293
18 Bruno Senna Williams 1min38.783
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1min38.990
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1min39.346
21 Timo Glock Marussia 1min39.651
22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1min40.343
23 Charles Pic Marussia 1min40.753
24 Narain Karthikeyan    HRT 1min41.125

First free practice session results:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min37.106
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min38.116
3 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min38.316
4 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1min38.584
5 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - Ferrari 1min38.911
6 Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1min38.977
7 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1min39.198
8 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min39.199
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min39.748
10 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min39.768
11 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min40.056
12 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min40.153
13 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min40.298
14 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min40.328
15 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min40.540
16 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min41.071
17 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min41.204
18 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1min42.330
19 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 1min42.521
20 Jules Bianchi (France) Force India 1min44.118
21 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1min44.227
22 Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1min44.500
23 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min47.204
24 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min50.465

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