Hamilton on top in Spanish GP practice

Fri May 8, 2015 4:00pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Spanish Grand Prix practice on Friday while Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg fell foul of the stewards with his first reprimand of the season.

While Rosberg set the fastest lap of the day in the morning session, with a lap of one minute 26.828 seconds, Hamilton was comfortably quicker in the afternoon sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Briton's time of 1:26.852 compared to Rosberg's 1:27.616, although the German had gearchange problems, as the sport fired up for its first European weekend of the season.

Rosberg was summoned to the stewards, including former world champion Alan Jones, after first practice for a pitlane infringement.

Force India's Mexican Sergio Perez was then fined 1,000 euros ($1,123.80) for speeding in the pit lane during the second practice.

Hamilton, last year's winner in Spain, has won three of four races this season and started all on pole. He leads Rosberg by 27 points.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third and second fastest in the sessions, but still some way off the Mercedes pace, with team mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth in both.

Toro Rosso's rookie pairing of Carlos Sainz, making his home debut, and Max Verstappen were in the top 10 in both sessions but Red Bull had a difficult day.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany speaks to Red Bull Formula One driver Daniil Kvyat of Russia during a news conference ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Spain, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Albert Gea