McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton led the way in free practice for Sunday’s China grand prix, although the day was overshadowed by a high-speed accident suffered by Sebastien Buemi.
A failure of the front right upright on Buemi’s Toro Rosso pitched him into the barriers at turn 14 in the day’s first practice session; the upright was a new design introduced this weekend and the team has reverted back to the old design for the rest of the weekend.
Hamilton’s time of 1:35.217 was 0.248secs faster than Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and his McLaren team mate Jenson Button was a further tenth of a second behind.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso suffered another engine failure in the morning’s first session; he has now used two of his allocation of eight for the season the reaming six will have to last 16 more grand prix including this weekend’s.
Button was fastest in first free practice, ahead of Rosberg and Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed there will be 20 races on next season’s F1 calendar. That’s one more race than this season: India will host its first race in 2011.
Second free practice times:
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.2172. Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.465 +0.2483. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.593 +0.3764. Schumacher Mercedes 1:35.602 +0.3855. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:35.791 +0.5746. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:35.995 +0.7787. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:36.254 +1.0378. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.377 +1.1609. Kubica Renault 1:36.389 +1.17210. Alonso Ferrari 1:36.604 +1.38711. Massa Ferrari 1:36.944 +1.72712. Petrov Renault 1:36.986 +1.76913. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.421 +2.20414. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.431 +2.21415. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:37.657 +2.44016. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:37.804 +2.58717. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:37.867 +2.65018. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.624 +4.40719. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.947 +4.73020. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:40.233 +5.01621. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:41.008 +5.79122. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:41.107 +5.89023. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:41.345 +6.12824. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari