Rosberg Shows Early Mercedes Pace In Shanghai

Nico Rosberg has shown a strong Mercedes pace in Shanghai by taking the top spot in Friday morning’s FP1 session.

The German, who took his first win at the same track during last year’s Chinese Grand Prix, set a 1.36.717 to put him over four-tenths clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Third placed man Mark Webber was a further five-tenths behind to give the Mercedes’ a comfortable lead to build on during the weekend. Sebastian Vettel took the other RB9 to fourth on the time sheets while Fernando Alonso finished fifth.

Jenson Button showed an improved McLaren pace in sixth, ahead of Felipe Massa in seventh and Force India’s Adrian Sutil in eighth. Paul di Resta in tenth separated the Lotus’ of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen in ninth and eleventh respectively. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne led Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and occupied twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.

Sergio Perez took a disappointing sixteenth for McLaren, 1.3 seconds behind team-mate Jenson. Valtteri Bottas was right behind Perez in seventeenth and led Esteban Gutierrez who was the first man into the 1.40’s.

Jules Bianchi, unsurprisingly, was the best of the back-markers and led team-mate Max Chilton in twentieth ahead of Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde and finally Ma Qing Hua, the first Chinese man to drive in a Chinese session, in twenty-second and last.

Sergio Perez left his mark at the circuit – literally when he stuck his nose into the barriers on his way back to the pitlane. Heading into the pits he locked his tires and went straight on and into the barriers, the same place where Lewis became beached in his first year for McLaren.

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Mark Webber
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Fernando Alonso
  6. Jenson Button
  7. Felipe Massa
  8. Adrian Sutil
  9. Romain Grosjean
  10. Paul di Resta
  11. Kimi Raikkonen
  12. Jean-Eric Vergne
  13. Pastor Maldonado
  14. Nico Hulkenberg
  15. Daniel Ricciardo
  16. Sergio Perez
  17. Valtteri Bottas
  18. Esteban Gutierrez
  19. Jules Bianchi
  20. Max Chilton
  21. Giedo van der Garde
  22. Ma Qing Hua
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