- Sep 26, 2010
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
- Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:39.033
- Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1:39.574
- Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:40.157
- Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:41.012
- Felipe Nasr - Sauber - 1:41.012
- Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:41.029
- Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull - 1:41.097
- Carlos Sainz Jr. - Toro Rosso - 1:41.112
- Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 1:41.303
- Felipe Massa - Williams - 1:41.304
- Pastor Maldonado - Lotus - 1:41.335
- Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso - 1:41.575
- Jenson Button - McLaren - 1:41.845
- Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:41.918
- Jolyon Palmer - Lotus - 1:41.967
- Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:42.141
- Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:42.161
- Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 1:42.184
- Will Stevens - Manor - 1:45.379
- Roberto Merhi - Manor - 1:46.443
- Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:37.219
- Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:37.662
- Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:38.311
- Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:38.339
- Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1:38.399
- Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull - 1:38.737
- Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 1:38.850
- Felipe Nasr - Sauber - 1:39.032
- Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 1:39.142
- Jenson Button - McLaren - 1:39.275
- Pastor Maldonado - Lotus - 1:39.444
- Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:39.743
- Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:39.751
- Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso - 1:39.894
- Carlos Sainz Jr. - Toro Rosso - 1:39.971
- Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 1:40.151
- Felipe Massa - Williams - 1:40.423
- Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:40.868
- Roberto Merhi - Manor - 1:42.973
- Will Stevens - Manor - 1:44.564