Hamilton leads second practice in China

Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:00am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton overcame problems with his car's handling to return Mercedes to the top of the timesheets in the second practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday.

Hamilton completed 25 laps of the 5.4 km Shanghai International Circuit in the afternoon session to end the day with a best time of one minute 38.315 seconds, edging out the morning's pacesetter Fernando Alonso by a tenth of a second.

Formula One world championship leader Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes was third, the German falling four tenths of a second short of his team mate's benchmark.

Despite ending the day fastest, Friday's two practice sessions were far from trouble-free for Hamilton, who arrives in China having won the last two races and is gunning for his first grand prix hat-trick.

The Briton was limited to running nine laps in the morning after a suspension issue brought an early end to his session.

The problem persisted into the second 90-minute session and Hamilton was forced to miss out on the opening half-hour of the post-lunch action as his team worked to fix his car.

Once out on track, Hamilton continued to experience problems with his car's handling and at one point radioed his team to tell them there was "something wrong with this car.

"It was quite a difficult day today as we missed some of this morning's session which put us on the back foot slightly, but we were glad to get some laps in the second session at least," Hamilton said after practice.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during the second practice session of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit, April 18, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song