Hamilton edges Raikkonen in China practice

Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:14am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton fended off Kimi Raikkonen to claim the bragging rights over his rivals in both free practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday but the Finn's Ferrari showed enough pace to worry Mercedes.

Hamilton, who edged out team mate Nico Rosberg in the opening session, lapped the 5.451-km Shanghai International Circuit in one minute, 37.219 seconds in latter 90-minute run to shade Raikkonen by just four-tenths of a second.

"Generally the car was feeling good and it was nice to get the running and the preparations. Hopefully that will stand me in good stead," Hamilton told the BBC.

"The Ferraris look like they were as quick as they were in Malaysia, but hopefully we're quicker."

Daniel Ricciardo was a surprise third fastest in his Red Bull, the Australian leaping up the order late in the session after sitting out the opening 45 minutes as the team struggled to cool their brakes.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who won the Malaysian Grand Prix a fortnight ago, was fourth after surviving an early spin, edging out compatriot Rosberg, who made a mistake at the end of his fastest flying lap and could only manage fifth.

"On one lap, I think we'll be quickest and race pace we need to review now if we are looking okay or not," said Rosberg, who almost collided with Raikkonen late in the session as both cars jockeyed for position.

"That was definitely quite a tight one. He didn't leave much space in Turn Two, but okay, fair play, then I got him out in the next couple of corners. It was good racing and on Sunday, we might see some similar action."   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during the second practice ahead of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit April 10, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria