Fernando Alonso repeated his FP1 success in Melbourne with fastest time in the first free practice session at Shanghai ahead of Sunday’s F1 Chinese Grand Prix, though issues for Kimi Raikkonen kept the sister Ferrari in the garage after a servo failure on the front suspension.
Alonso finished almost a second clear of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes after trialling a new front wing and making a solid run on the softer Pirelli compound available this weekend. Daniel Ricciardo was 3rd for Red Bull, with Jenson Button 4th and Nico Hulkenberg 5th; both Force India and McLaren have brought updates to this race weekend also.
The session wasn’t without incident, with a couple of minor spills for Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who spun his car at turn one and the penultimate corner respectively.
Problems arose for Jules Bianchi, who was forced to sit out most of the session after electrical issues with his Marussia car, and Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber. Sergio Perez was also afflicted with a rear wing DRS failure that threatened to have consequences so the team elected not to run his car after the midway point of the morning.
Giedo van der Garde and Felipe Nasr handled driving duties for Sauber and Williams respectively in place of regular drivers Adrian Sutil and Valtteri Bottas.
CLASSIFICATION – FP1 – Chinese GP – 18th Apr 2014
|14||van der Garde||Sauber||1:42:615|