Rosberg faster than Hamilton in Bahrain

Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:10pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg rose to the challenge by lapping faster than Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton in practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday.

The German, who has been beaten by the double Formula One world champion in all three races so far this season, topped the timesheets with a best time of one minute 34.647 seconds on soft tires in the second, floodlit session.

Championship leader Hamilton was second overall, 0.115 slower, after losing time when he made a mistake and locked up a front tire into turn eight on his fastest lap.

He also ended the day with a stewards' enquiry hanging over him and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for possible pit lane infringements in driving around cars that had stopped for practice starts.

The Mercedes drivers had accused each other of driving too slowly, Hamilton in dictating the race pace and Rosberg for failing to overtake him, after last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix won by the Briton.

After a quiet opening session, with Mercedes focusing on long runs and clocking only the 15th and 16th fastest times while Ferrari set the pace, normal service was resumed in the evening.

"It was a good day today," said Rosberg, who faces a trickier task in qualifying on Saturday with a sandstorm forecast.

"We’ve learned that it is pointless driving at lunchtime because we don’t learn anything because the race is in the evening and it’s such different conditions.   Continued...

Nico Rosberg of Mercedes in his garage during practice
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei