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Featured Chinese GP: Mercedes fastest on Friday, but gap is shrinking

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Jack Hunsley, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Jack Hunsley

    Jack Hunsley
    Staff Premium

    You'd be forgiven for assuming that Mercedes two year long dominance would be set to continue after Hamilton was fastest in both FP1 and FP2 on the first days action in Shanghai, but it seems that other teams might finally be making a breakthrough.

    The first session of the day passed with few major dramas. Hamilton managed to put his Mercedes half a second clear of team mate Nico Rosberg, but the Ferrari of Vettel was just another half a second down on his fellow countryman in third.

    Felipe Nasr seemed to be regaining his form he showed at Melbourne with 5th place ahead of both Red Bulls, whilst further down the field there were spins for Felipe Massa and Jolyon Palmer, whilst McLaren could take some solace with Button and Alonso finishing the session 13th and 17th.

    FP2 was where the main drama was for the day. In between fans sprinting across the track, the times at the top of the sheets where remarkably close. Whilst Hamilton led the way again he was only four tenths quicker than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

    Meanwhile his team mate Rosberg was outpaced by both Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, only managing 5th by the time the checkered flag fell. Meanwhile McLaren seem to have made some serious progress with Jenson Button managing to put his McLaren 10th quickest overall, with Alonso just two places behind in 12th.

    But for others the session was not as remarkable. Daniil Kvyat for example was told to return to the pits very carefully after his left-rear brake pad caught fire, but was helpless when he went straight on at the hairpin and bumped the wall.

    Meanwhile Felipe Massa suffered a major setback after his rear wing stalled under braking for the final hairpin and subsequently wrecked his car, bringing out the red flag in the process.

    All in all, it seems that Ferrari's victory in Malaysia last time out may not be the only time we will see a Mercedes bested this season.

    Free Practice 1 Official Results
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:39.033
    2. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1:39.574
    3. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:40.157
    4. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:41.012
    5. Felipe Nasr - Sauber - 1:41.012
    6. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:41.029
    7. Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull - 1:41.097
    8. Carlos Sainz Jr. - Toro Rosso - 1:41.112
    9. Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 1:41.303
    10. Felipe Massa - Williams - 1:41.304
    11. Pastor Maldonado - Lotus - 1:41.335
    12. Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso - 1:41.575
    13. Jenson Button - McLaren - 1:41.845
    14. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:41.918
    15. Jolyon Palmer - Lotus - 1:41.967
    16. Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:42.141
    17. Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:42.161
    18. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 1:42.184
    19. Will Stevens - Manor - 1:45.379
    20. Roberto Merhi - Manor - 1:46.443
    Free Practice 2 Official Results
    1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:37.219
    2. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:37.662
    3. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:38.311
    4. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:38.339
    5. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1:38.399
    6. Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull - 1:38.737
    7. Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 1:38.850
    8. Felipe Nasr - Sauber - 1:39.032
    9. Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 1:39.142
    10. Jenson Button - McLaren - 1:39.275
    11. Pastor Maldonado - Lotus - 1:39.444
    12. Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:39.743
    13. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:39.751
    14. Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso - 1:39.894
    15. Carlos Sainz Jr. - Toro Rosso - 1:39.971
    16. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 1:40.151
    17. Felipe Massa - Williams - 1:40.423
    18. Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:40.868
    19. Roberto Merhi - Manor - 1:42.973
    20. Will Stevens - Manor - 1:44.564
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Can't wait for tomorrow :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  3. the_sigman

    Sim racer, F1 news editor... Racing is in my blood Premium

    He made a mistake in the last corner in his only attempt with softs. With the medium he was 0.06s slower than Lewis.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Manor is so sad.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. wow those McLaren times though, they have made quite a bit of progress since Malaysia and only about 2 - 3 seconds off the pace of the Mercedes
  6. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    Join us in the RD club races! Staff Premium

    HAM led the way but was still slower than RAI? :rolleyes:;)
  7. Jack Hunsley

    Jack Hunsley
    Staff Premium

    It's been a long day ;)

    *quickly edits to avoid further shame*
  8. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    Join us in the RD club races! Staff Premium

    If I had hadn't made similar mistakes today, I would soooo be judging you right now!! But alas...... :roflmao:
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  9. Erg


    I'm curious how interesting things will happen to Rai in qualifying and/or race :)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Steve Bird

    Steve Bird
    Racing Since 1978 Premium

    Williams's slightly lackluster performance is disappointing to say the least.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Brandon Wright

    Brandon Wright
    Join us in the RD club races! Staff Premium

    Yeah, I really thought they were going to do well this season after such a strong showing last year. Hopefully they find their stride (and avoid more bad luck).
  12. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

    It's just practice c'mon ...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Williams were relying heavily on their engine last year. Now that the others
    have closed the gap a bit they are not doing so well. Or, it's just that since
    Williams haven't improved their aero that much, they simply are a bit slow on
    these slow tracks.
  14. Lets go for Kimi on pole, Massa 2nd and Nasr on 3rd in qualifying today! That is...realistic, right?
    • Haha Haha x 1