2012 CHINESE GP: FRIDAY RESULTS

Michael Schumacher finished the second practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix on top as Mercedes continued to gain a significant advantage from its unique DRS system. Schumacher's time of 1:35.973 was 0.172s faster than FP1 pace-setter Lewis Hamilton even though the McLaren was quicker than the Mercedes in the first two sectors of the lap. On the long straight in the third sector Schumacher clawed back enough time with the Mercedes' impressive top speed to set the fastest time overall.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was just 0.015s off Hamilton after reverting to an old version of the RB8's exhaust layout used during the majority of pre-season testing. After a faulty DRS held him back in FP1, Vettel hit his stride on soft tyres in the afternoon session, setting a time 0.273 faster than his team-mate Mark Webber, who persisted with the Red Bull exhaust layout used at the opening two races.

Nico Rosberg was fifth fastest, 0.644s off his Mercedes team-mate Schumacher but roughly a tenth ahead of the second McLaren of Jenson Button. Kamui Kobayashi maintained Sauber's strong form with the seventh fastest time ahead of respectable laps from the two Force Indias of Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg.

Fernando Alonso's prediction that Ferrari is still some way off the pace appeared to be verified as he finished the session in tenth and 1.343s off Schumacher's time. Rather surprisingly both Lotuses finished outside the top ten with Kimi Raikkonen 13th and Romain Grosjean 15th.

The two Williamses were also outside the top ten despite showing strong form at the first two races. Several drivers continued to make mistakes, especially under braking, and a flat spot on one of Sergio Perez's tyres manifested in a nasty vibration through the front of his car. The biggest incident of the session involved Timo Glock who ran wide at turn one before his front wing appeared to detach itself in the gravel trap.
FIRST FREE PRACTICE
Pos  Driver                Team                  Time               Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m37.106              7
 2.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m38.116s  + 1.010   14
 3.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m38.316s  + 1.210   14
 4.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m38.584s  + 1.478   13
 5.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m38.911s  + 1.805   12
 6.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m38.977s  + 1.871   15
 7.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m39.198s  + 2.092   12
 8.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m39.199s  + 2.093    6
 9.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m39.748s  + 2.642   16
10.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m39.768s  + 2.662   14
11.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m40.056s  + 2.950   14
12.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m40.153s  + 3.047   14
13.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault      1m40.298s  + 3.192    8
14.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m40.328s  + 3.222   13
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m40.540s  + 3.434   12
16.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m41.071s  + 3.965   14
17.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m41.204s  + 4.098   14
18.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1m42.330s  + 5.224   14
19.  Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault      1m42.521s  + 5.415   11      
20.  Jules Bianchi         Force India-Mercedes  1m44.118s  + 7.012    8
21.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1m44.227s  + 7.121   10
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1m44.500s  + 7.394   15
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m47.204s  + 10.098  12
24.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m50.465s  + 13.359  11
SECOND FREE PRACTICE
Pos  Driver                Team                   Time               Laps
 1.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:35.973             32
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:36.145   + 0.172   29
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:36.160   + 0.187   26
 4.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:36.433   + 0.460   23
 5.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:36.617   + 0.644   30
 6.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:36.711   + 0.738   27
 7.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:36.956   + 0.983   28
 8.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:36.966   + 0.993   30
 9.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1:37.191   + 1.218   30
10.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:37.316   + 1.343   32
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:37.417   + 1.444   22
12.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:37.616   + 1.643   33
13.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1:37.836   + 1.863   30
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:37.930   + 1.957   31
15.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1:37.972   + 1.999   25
16.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1:38.176   + 2.203   34
17.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:38.293   + 2.320   30
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault       1:38.783   + 2.810   37
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1:38.990   + 3.017   36
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1:39.346   + 3.373   19
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1:39.651   + 3.678   15
22.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1:40.343   + 4.370   24
23.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1:40.753   + 4.780   30
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:41.125   + 5.162   26