Formula 1 News

Hamilton leading the way in first practice at Sepang

Vettel followed half a second behind and then the two promising Mercedes of Rosberg and Schumacher.
Friday, March 23, 2012

SEPANG, Malaysia, March 23, 2012 (AFP) - Britain's Lewis Hamilton set the pace in opening free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix Friday as Mercedes also showed blistering speed aided by their controversial new rear wing.

McLaren driver Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, set the quickest time of 1min 38.021sec in the 90-minute session, held in scorching heat at the Sepang circuit, half a second ahead of reigning title-holder Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher held the third and fourth positions, in a performance which will bring more attention to their new drag-reduction device despite its all-clear by Formula One officials.

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean placed fifth ahead of Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, while McLaren's Jenson Button, who won last week's season-opener in Australia, was ninth.

Despite concerns from rival teams, officials have raised no objections to Mercedes' "W-duct" rear wing which cleverly channels air-flow to cut resistance on the nose when the Drag Reduction System (DRS) overtaking aid is engaged.

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F1 Standings

Drivers
Teams
1 Lewis Hamilton 93
2 Nico Rosberg 66
3 Sebastian Vettel 65
4 Kimi Räikkönen 42
5 Felipe Massa 31
6 Valtteri Bottas 30
1 Mercedes 159
2 Ferrari 107
3 Williams F1 61
4 Red Bull Racing 23
5 Sauber 19
6 Scuderia Toro Rosso 12

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Manama, Bahrain Circuit
1
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
2
Kimi Räikkönen
Ferrari
3
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes
Fastest Lap

Kimi Räikkönen
1'36.311s

Pole Position

Lewis Hamilton

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