Hamilton Fastest In Opening Practice Session

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest man in this morning’s FP1 session ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Briton’s lap of 1.34.157 set him three tenths up on his team-mate who was the next man down the order on the timing sheets. Sebastian Vettel was third for Red Bull, with Mark Webber right behind him in the twin car. Felipe Massa was a further three-tenths behind the reigning World Champions, with mere thousandths of a second separating the Ferrari duo. Next was the Lotus duo, led by Romain Grosjean, who occupied seventh and eighth by sessions end, with Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top ten.

Jenson Button was eleventh, Nico Hulkenberg twelfth and Jean-Eric Vergne thirteenth. Adrian Sutil narrowly beat Maldonado to fourteenth, while the Williams driver ended his session prematurely with a loose rear left tyre making a break for the Japanese scenery. Valtteri Bottas finished the session a tenth down on his team-mate while Paul di Resta occupied a disappointing but now regular seventeenth place, 2.2 shy of the fastest lap. Esteban Gutierrez was eighteenth and Heikki Kovalainen was nineteenth, fastest of the backmarkers while taking the first session over from Charles Pic. Jules Bianchi finished the session twentieth, with only 30 minutes of running before sliding into the barriers at Degner. Van der Garde made the same mistake and went off at Degner with twenty minutes remaining in the session, becoming the third man to retire from the session. Max Chilton was twenty-second, and last, surviving a late spin at the first corner.

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