GP Cina, prove libere venerdì–18/04/2014
Chinese GP: Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton recovers to lead practice two
Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a late start to top Friday’s second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver missed the first 25 minutes of the one-and-a-half hour session thanks to a suspension problem, which had also limited his running during free practice one.
But after a brief stint on the medium-compound Pirellis, during which he lapped a second-and-a-quarter off the pacesetters on equivalent rubber, Hamilton switched to softs at around the halfway mark.
Hamilton, who complained of understeer on his first run, blitzed the final sector of the lap, setting comfortably the quickest time of the afternoon in that part of the circuit to knock Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso off top spot by 0.141s.
Alonso had earlier relegated the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg from the top of the times by four tenths of a second, setting a particularly strong pace in the twisty middle sector of the lap.
After a dismal Bahrain GP weekend, it was a far stronger day for Alonso. He earlier topped the first free practice session and then set the fastest time during the medium-compound running at the start of the afternoon’s running.
Rosberg had the potential to produce a better time and after setting the fastest time of all in sector one, yellow flags at the final corner cost him time, although it is not clear how much. He had to be content with third-fastest time.
Daniel Ricciardo beat Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to fourth place, with Felipe Massa making good on the Williams team’s hopes for a stronger weekend in China in sixth overall.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest after a brief off at the final corner, with McLaren’s Jenson Button eighth ahead of Romain Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat.
Behind them, Force India failed to recapture its Bahrain form, with Nico Hulkenberg 11th fastest and almost a second-and-a-half off the pace, and Sergio Perez 15th.
Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado endured a fraught session, suffering off-track moments at the final and the first corner prior to crashing in the pit-entry shortly after the half-hour mark.
Both Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi and Marussia’s Max Chilton spun during the session, with Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg, Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen among those to have off-track moments.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.315s 25 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.456s +0.141s 28 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.726s +0.411s 30 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m38.811s +0.496s 30 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.015s +0.700s 31 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m39.118s +0.803s 25 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.283s +0.968s 25 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.491s +1.176s 29 9. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.537s +1.222s 36 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.648s +1.333s 26 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m39.736s +1.421s 30 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.744s +1.429s 29 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m39.759s +1.444s 28 14. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m39.830s +1.515s 25 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m40.124s +1.809s 32 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.359s +2.044s 32 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.395s +2.080s 30 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m40.455s +2.140s 12 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m42.327s +4.012s 27 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.473s +5.158s 30 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m43.530s +5.215s 32 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m43.679s +5.364s 32
Chinese GP: Fernando Alonso and Ferrari lead first Friday practice
Fernando Alonso set the early pace for the Ferrari Formula 1 team in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
The two-time world champion was 0.398 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes at a cool and misty Shanghai International Circuit.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was third quickest in his Red Bull ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren.
Nico Hulkenberg was fifth fastest for Force India, one place in front of the other McLaren of Kevin Magnussen.
The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton was eighth fastest overall, but his session ended a few minutes early after he reported a problem with the balance of his car.
Alonso’s pace will have pleased Ferrari’s new team principal Marco Mattiacci, who made his first appearance in his new role with the Scuderia this morning.
There was less joy on the other side of the garage as Alonso’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen could only manage a single installation lap after he suffered problems with the front of his car.
As ever the first practice session of the weekend was characterised by low grip and many drivers struggled with locking brakes. A number of teams were also trailing new parts – including Mercedes, which has arrived in China with a new front wing.
Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez did not emerge from his garage until an hour into the session after he suffered a malfunction his clutch. Jules Bianchi had a fuel system problem following his installation lap and sat out nearly all of the 90 minutes before joining for a brief late run.
There was early drama for Pastor Maldonado when he spun his Lotus at Turn 9 just 10 minutes into the session. He appeared to be looking down to make an adjustment on his steering wheel as he lost control.
Rookie Daniil Kvyat was another to leave the track, when he made a small mistake and spun at Turn 1 and also Turn 14.
Williams ran its test and reserve driver Felipe Nasr in place of Valtteri Bottas for this session and he finished with the 13th fastest time.
Sauber also used one of its test roster, with Giedo van der Garde standing in for Adrian Sutil.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m39.783s 20 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.181s +0.398s 16 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m40.772s +0.989s 23 4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.970s +1.187s 23 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m41.175s +1.392s 16 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.366s +1.583s 20 7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.505s +1.722s 26 8. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m41.560s +1.777s 9 9. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.629s +1.846s 19 10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m41.699s +1.916s 14 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.977s +2.194s 23 12. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m42.090s +2.307s 24 13. Felipe Nasr Williams-Mercedes 1m42.265s +2.482s 13 14. Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.615s +2.832s 16 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m42.733s +2.950s 13 16. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m43.731s +3.948s 22 17. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m44.038s +4.255s 16 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m44.162s +4.379s 17 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m44.270s +4.487s 7 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m44.782s +4.999s 20 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m44.835s +5.052s 22 22. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1