2014 CHINESE GP: MERCEDES AS USUALLY, HAMILTON SET FASTEST FRIDAY TIME

All drivers get used to look the W05 behind!!!
Fernando Alonso set the early pace for the Ferrari Formula 1 team in the opening practice session for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. The two-time world champion was 0.398 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg's Mercedes at a cool and misty Shanghai International Circuit. Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a late start to top Friday's second free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Weather will have a big effect on tyre behaviour throughout the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, with free practice today characterised by cool weather and a possibility of rain for qualifying tomorrow. Ambient and track temperatures dipped to 13 and 15 degrees centigrade respectively during FP1 this morning, before becoming slightly warmer in the afternoon.

Is he still smiling !?!
As a result, the drivers had to be sure of warming their tyres up properly, in order to extract the best possible performance and guard against graining. In order to warm up the compound, the driver has to gradually put more heat and energy into the tyre during the out lap, so that the compound reacts with the surface to generate grip. Graining happens when the tyre simply skates across the asphalt rather than bonding with it, causing wave-like patterns of wear across the surface of the tread. Graining was seen for some drivers during free practice, but it remained within anticipated levels.
 
The cold temperature has made things a bit more interesting. Even though lower temps do not change engine settings and fuel consumption this year, unlike with the V8s, it does make the cars move around a lot more, particularly with the harder tyre compound. As a result we have to make minor adjustments to give more traction, but with enough flexibility to adapt to the evolving conditions.
FIRST FREE PRACTICE
 P.    DRIVER             TEAM           TIME         GAP   LAPS 
 1. Fernando Alonso      Ferrari        1:39.783             20
 2. Nico Rosberg         Mercedes AMG   1:40.181   +  0.398  16
 3. Daniel Ricciardo     Red Bull       1:40.772   +  0.989  23
 4. Jenson Button        McLaren        1:40.970   +  1.187  23
 5. Nico Hulkenberg      Force India    1:41.175   +  1.392  16
 6. Kevin Magnussen      McLaren        1:41.366   +  1.583  20
 7. Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso     1:41.505   +  1.722  26
 8. Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes AMG   1:41.560   +  1.777   9
 9. Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull       1:41.629   +  1.846  19
10. Felipe Massa         Williams       1:41.699   +  1.916  14
11. Daniil Kvyat         Toro Rosso     1:41.977   +  2.194  23
12. Romain Grosjean      Lotus          1:42.090   +  2.307  24
13. Felipe Nasr          Williams       1:42.265   +  2.482  13
14. Giedo van der Garde  Sauber         1:42.615   +  2.832  16
15. Sergio Perez         Force India    1:42.733   +  2.950  13
16. Pastor Maldonado     Lotus          1:43.731   +  3.948  22
17. Kamui Kobayashi      Caterham       1:44.038   +  4.255  16
18. Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber         1:44.162   +  4.379  17
19. Jules Bianchi        Marussia       1:44.270   +  4.487   7
20. Max Chilton          Marussia       1:44.782   +  4.999  20
21. Marcus Ericsson      Caterham       1:44.835   +  5.052  22
22. Kimi Raikkonen       Ferrari        NO TIME               1
SECOND FREE PRACTICE
 P.    DRIVER            TEAM             TIME        GAP   LAPS 
 1. Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes AMG    1:38.315             25
 2. Fernando Alonso     Ferrari         1:38.456   +  0.141  28
 3. Nico Rosberg        Mercedes AMG    1:38.726   +  0.411  30
 4. Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull        1:38.811   +  0.496  30
 5. Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull        1:39.015   +  0.700  31
 6. Felipe Massa        Williams        1:39.118   +  0.803  25
 7. Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari         1:39.283   +  0.968  25
 8. Jenson Button       McLaren         1:39.491   +  1.176  29
 9. Romain Grosjean     Lotus           1:39.537   +  1.222  36
10. Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso      1:39.648   +  1.333  26
11. Nico Hulkenberg     Force India     1:39.736   +  1.421  30
12. Kevin Magnussen     McLaren         1:39.744   +  1.429  29
13. Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso      1:39.759   +  1.444  28
14. Valtteri Bottas     Williams        1:39.830   +  1.515  25
15. Sergio Perez        Force India     1:40.124   +  1.809  32
16. Esteban Gutierrez   Sauber          1:40.359   +  2.044  32
17. Adrian Sutil        Sauber          1:40.395   +  2.080  30
18. Pastor Maldonado    Lotus           1:40.455   +  2.140  12
19. Jules Bianchi       Marussia        1:42.327   +  4.012  27
20. Max Chilton         Marussia        1:43.473   +  5.158  30
21. Kamui Kobayashi     Caterham        1:43.530   +  5.215  32
22. Marcus Ericsson     Caterham        1:43.679   +  5.364  32