Lewis Hamilton Sets The Pace In First Practice In Shanghai

by Craig Edwards

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport of Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets at the end of practice one for the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix.

The defending champion was the only driver to drop under  one minute thirty four seconds  as he started the weekend on the front foot.

Kimi Raikkonen in the Scuderia Ferrari was second, three and a half tenths behind Hamilton with fellow Finnish driver, Valtteri Bottas rounding out the top three.

The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were fourth and fifth with Sebastian Vettel down in sixth.

Kevin Magnussen continued his fine form this season with seventh in the Haas F1 Team with his team-mate Romain Grosjean ninth.

The two Renault Sport Formula One team cars rounded out the top ten with Carlos Sainz Jr in eighth and Nico Hulkenberg tenth.

Fresh from his first points in fifty races, Marcus Ericsson in the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team was first out while Lance Stroll completed the first timed lap of the session.

Fernando Alonso quickly pushed the Canadian off the top of timesheets before all the drivers started setting times.

Practice saw a break in track action after the forty minute mark when teams gave back their mandatory set of tyres to Pirelli.

Times began to tumble as drivers went back out with many trying to find the limit round the Shanghai International Circuit.

Verstappen was lucky to escape without damage after a mistake in the final corner before Hamilton spun at turn eleven.

The McLaren F1 Team of Stoffel Vandoorne had a trip through the gravel on the exit of turn ten as the Belgian finished a lowly eighteenth.

Hamilton and Mercedes look strong after the first practice session especially when taken into account that their fastest lap was seton the soft compared to Raikkonen on the ultrasoft.

144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1.33.99922
27Kimi RaikkonenScuderia Ferrari1.34.3580.35914
377Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1.34.4570.45828
43Daniel RicciardoAston Martin Red Bull Racing1.34.5370.53822
533Max VerstappenAston Martin Red Bull Racing1.34.6680.66922
65Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1.34.8610.86218
720Kevin MagnussenHaas F1 Team1.35.1781.17921
855Carlos Sainz JrRenault Sport Formula One Team1.35.6161.61723
98Romain GrosjeanHaas F1 Team1.35.7181.71921
1027Nico HulkenbergRenault Sport Formula One Team1.35.8001.80118
1110Pierre GaslyRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1.36.0372.03821
1214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren F1 Team1.36.0442.04529
1311Sergio PerezSahara Force India F1 Team1.36.0512.05228
1431Esteban OconSahara Force India F1 Team1.36.3512.35232
1535Sergey SirotkinWilliams Martini Racing1.36.6912.69231
1628Brendon HartleyRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1.36.7152.71623
1716Charles LeclercAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1.36.7232.72423
182Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren F1 Team1.36.7562.75725
199Marcus EricssonAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1.36.9092.91021
2018Lance StrollWilliams Martini Racing1.37.2773.27828

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