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F1 2016: Chinese GP Free Practice 1 Report – Rosberg Quickest

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg topped the first free practice session ahead of Sunday’s Chinese grand prix.

The session stumbled into life as cars trickled out onto the Shanghai International circuit which was holding a track temperature of 33 degrees Celcius. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg set the quickest time of the session, a 1:38:037, on the yellow walled soft tyre. Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton followed in second one and a half tenths adrift.

The Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, and sister Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top five positions. Fernando Alonso was back in the McLaren for the first free practice session and ended the session twelfth overall. Alonso has not yet been given the all clear to race for the remainder of the weekend and is expected to undergo his second medical check-up of the weekend fifteen minutes after the conclusion of the first practice session.

The one and a half hour session was marred by two red flag periods brought about first by the Williams of Felipe Massa and secondly by the Renault of Kevin Magnussen. The first red flag was shown as a result of gravel on the circuit caused by the left-rear tyre on Massa’s car letting go. Peculiarly, once the track re-opened Massa ventured back out only to experience the same delamination on the left-rear tyre. There is no word as yet to the cause of the delamination however.

The second red flag was a bit lengthier and required a bit more clean-up as the left-rear tyre on Kevin Magnussen’s Renault let go halfway down the back strait. On the face of it the two incidents for Massa and Magnussen don’t seem to be related. It was the McLaren teams opinion that Magnussen’s issue might have been caused by debris on the circuit.

The tyre compouds available this weekend are the medium (white), soft (yellow), and supersoft (red).


About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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Countdown to Next Race


2017 Spanish GP Broadcast Times

Free Practice 1Friday 04:00Friday 10:00Friday 11:00Friday 11:00
Free Practice 2Friday 07:00Friday 14:00Friday 15:00Friday 14:00
Free Practice 3Saturday 04:00Saturday 10:00Saturday 11:00Saturday 11:00
QualifyingSaturday 07:00Saturday 13:00Saturday 14:00Saturday 14:00
RaceSunday 07:00Sunday 13:00Sunday 14:00Sunday 14:00

2017 Drivers Championship

1 Sebastian Vettel86
2 Lewis Hamilton73
3 Valtteri Bottas63
4 Kimi Raikkonen49
5 Max Verstappen35
> Full Championship Table