Hamilton fastest in opening practices in Spain

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Mercedes driver sets the pace at the Circuit de Catalunya ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Chinese Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton picked up where he left off in Shanghai by setting the pace in the opening practice session ahead of this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver finished 0.868s ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button. Button had spent the bulk of the session at the head of the order, only for Hamilton to pop up with five minutes remaining and dislodge his former McLaren team-mate from P1.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was third-fastest, just under a tenth of a second behind Button, but there were problems early in the session for the Australian driver’s team-mate, Sebastian Vettel.

After just 25 minutes the champion was forced to stop his RB10 at the side of the track, an electrical issue causing him to halt at Turn 5. The German had only completed four laps when the problem struck and he finished the session in 20th place.

Fernando Alonso gave his home fans something to feel positive about, the Spaniard guiding his Ferrari to fourth place on the morning timesheet.

Alonso was 1.1s adrift of Hamilton but a few hundredths of a second ahead of the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, who only managed nine laps in the session due to power unit problems. Alonso’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was sixth ahead of the second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen.

Elsewhere, Sauber reserve driver had a dramatic moment when a brake problem sent him flying through the gravel at Turn 1, but the Dutch driver, who was deputising for Esteban Gutierrez, managed to make it back to the pits.

Sergio Perez, meanwhile, had an incident in which his left hand rear-view mirrors became detached. The Mexican had to grab hold of the mirror and hold it inside the cockpit while he made his way back to the pits.

FIA F1

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About this article
Series F1
Article type Practice report
Tags circuit de catalunya, daniel ricciardo, fernando alonso, jenson button, lewis hamilton, spain

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