18.04.14

Alonso quickest in first practice in China

Spaniard edges Nico Rosberg as new Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci looks on.

With new Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci looking on, Fernando Alonso set the quickest time of the opening practice session at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Alonso’s lap was 0.398 quicker than second-placed Nico Rosberg and almost a full second clear of third-placed Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing.

Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton, winner of the last two grands prix, was eighth- fastest in the session, which was held in cool conditions. The Briton finished the session 1.7s adrift of Alonso and ended his session early with a balance problem.

World champion Sebastian Vettel was also significantly slower than his team-mate, the German finishing a second down on Ricciardo.

Mclaren’s Jenson Button was fourth fastest ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and the second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen.

A number of teams and drivers encountered problems during the session, most notably Kimi Raikkonen. The Ferrari driver completed just one installation before he retired to the garage where for the rest of the session his crew set about fixing a problem with the front end of his car.

Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez didn’t take to the track until an hour into the session after he suffered a clutch issue on his Sauber C33. Elsewhere, Marussia’s Jules Bianchi had a fuel system problem following his installation lap and sat out the bulk of the session before emerging for a short run at the end of the 90 minutes.

On track there were brief incidents for Pastor Maldona, who spun his Lotus in Tunr 9 early on, and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who had a spin in Turn One.

2014 Chinese Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Times
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:39.783 20
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:40.181 0.398 16
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:40.772 0.989 23
4 Jenson Button McLaren 1:40.970 1.187 23
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:41.175 1.392 16
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:41.366 1.583 20
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:41.505 1.722 26
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.560 1.777 9
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:41.629 1.846 19
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:41.699 1.916 14
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:41.977 2.194 23
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:42.090 2.307 24
13 Felipe Nasr Williams 1:42.265 2.482 13
14 Giedo van der Garde Sauber 1:42.615 2.832 16
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:42.733 2.950 13
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:43.731 3.948 22
17 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:44.038 4.255 16
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:44.162 4.379 17
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:44.270 4.487 7
20 Max Chilton Marussia 1:44.782 4.999 20
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:44.835 5.052 22
22 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari No Time 1