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FP1: Hamilton and Mercedes keep their promise

  • Published on 20 Sep 2013 14:22
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton loves the Marina Bay Street Circuit and is desperate to beat Red Bull in Singapore to keep his world title hopes alive, and during Friday evening's first practice he got his weekend's campaign off to a strong start as he dominated the first session. Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel provided his strongest opposition.

Hamilton was quick from the moment he started running on a track rendered slightly less green after the preceding GP2 practice, and wound up with 1m 47.055s as Webber led Vettel with 1m 47.420s to 1m 47.885s.

Nico Rosberg was next up in the second Mercedes, on 1m 48.239s, ahead of the Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean on 1m 48.354s, and 1m 48.355s, Grosjean having spent around two-thirds of the 90-minute session in the garage thanks to steering problems.

Fernando Alonso was Ferrari's lead runner in seventh on 1m 48.362s, while Sergio Perez flew the flag for McLaren despite one off, with 1m 49.267s. The Mexican was chased by Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso on 1m 49.348s, fellow countryman Esteban Gutierrez on 1m 49.355s for Sauber, Williams' Pastor Maldonado on 1m 49.481s, Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari on 1m 49.493s, Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams on 1m 49.510s, Jenson Button in the second McLaren on 1m 49.608s and Paul di Resta in the lead Force India on 1m 49.887s. The Scot's stablemate Adrian Sutil was right behind him in 16th on 1m 50.092s, ahead of Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg on 1m 50.222s and Daniel Ricciardo for Toro Rosso on 1m 50.757s.

Marussia got out of the box quickly to head Caterham, with Jules Bianchi on 1m 52.359s and Max Chilton on 1m 52.673s, and Giedo van der Garde on 1m 52.920s from Charles Pic on 1m 53.647s.

While there were no major incidents, Perez and Raikkonen had spins, Van der Garde brushed a wall with his right-rear wheel and Maldonado, Alonso and Vergne had off-course moments. (Formula1.com)

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