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Formula One: Hamilton fastest in Spanish Friday Practice!

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014The first European round of the 2014 Formula One world championship got under-way today with the two Friday Practice sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain. Lewis Hamilton, who has won the last 3 Grand Prix in  a row, topped both 90 minute sessions is showing every sign of winning his 4th race out of 5 this season.

Practice 1 began with home hero Fernando Alonso claiming the top spot as he threw his Ferrari around the circuit. He would later be deposed by Jenson Button who led the session all the way until the final few minutes when Hamilton put in two fastest laps in a row to take the fastest time by 8 tenths of a second.

Alonso ended up in P4, just behind Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. Alonso discredited the chance of a podium in yesterday’s press conference and commented that he would need luck to be able to do so. Nico Rosberg had an unproductive first session after his team discovered a problem with the energy recovery system on his Mercedes. As a result he only completed 9 laps and was 5th fastest.

Kimi Raikkonen and Kevin Magnussen were 6th and 7th fastest ahead of a surprise flash of pace from 2012 Spanish GP winner Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan has had a tough start to his 2014 season but briefly held 3rd and set the most amount of laps of anyone in the first 90 minutes. Daniil Kvyat completed the top 10 for Toro Rosso.

Sebastian Vettel had a torrid first session, with the reigning champion only completing 4 laps before his Red Bull broke down with a suspected electrical problem. The team later went on to announce that they would not take part in the 2nd practice session so that they could concentrate on trying to get the car fixed.

Giedo van der Garde made an appearance in FP1 for Sauber and had a scary moment at turn 1 when his brakes failed. He narrowly missed the barriers at turn 1 and managed to recover the car to the pits.

Practice 1 results:

POS Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’27.023
2 Jenson Button McLaren 1’27.891
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’27.973
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’28.128
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’28.168
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’28.337
7 Kevin Magnussn McLaren 1’28.423
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1’28.744
9 Sergio Perez Force India 1’28.779
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1’28.791
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’28.792
12 Nico Hulkenburg Force India 1’28.828
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1’28.859
14 Felipe Nasr Williams 1’29.272
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1’29.688
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1’29.820
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1’29.944
18 Giedo van der Garde Sauber 1’30.440
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1’30.748
20 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’30.942
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1’30.997
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1’31.421

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Lewis Hamilton continued to dominate practice by once again setting the fastest time. Team-mate Nico Rosberg had taken the top spot, but only for less than a minute before Hamilton set a time that was 4 tenths faster.

Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso remained in 3rd and 4th place, with Ricciardo the only driver that was under a second slower than Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen was 5th fastest and was just over a tenth slower than his team-mate in 3rd.

Kevin Magnussen was 6th fastest, but was still 2 seconds slower than Hamilton in P1. Magnussen was a few thousandths quicker than team-mate Button in 7th and Felipe Massa in 8th for Williams. Maldonado had another strong practice and was 9th fastest ahead of Kvyat; who once again completed the top 10.

Jean-Eric Vergne and Max Chilton hit problems in the final minutes of the session, with Vergne losing a wheel at turn 2 and Chilton beaching himself in the gravel at turn 4 after locking up. Vergne’s runaway wheel cost the Frenchman dearly as the stewards handed him a 10 place penalty for the race on Sunday.

Practice 2 results:

POS Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’25.524
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.973
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’26.509
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’27.121
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’27.296
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1’27.788
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1’27.811
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1’27.824
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1’27.866
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’28.049
11 Nico Hulkenburg Force India 1’28.074
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1’28.246
13 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1’28.284
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’28.698
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1’29.105
16 Sergio Perez Force India 1’29.129
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1’29.493
18 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1’29.991
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1’31.148
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1’31.338
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1’31.586
22 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull No time
By Jordan Groves
Formula 1 correspondent for RTR Sports Marketing
Follow Jordan on twitter at www.twitter.com/jgroves1996
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Jordan Groves
Jordan Groves
18 years old, UK. Formula One & Formula E Correspondent for RTR Sports. Fan of Formula One, Formula E, NASCAR, IndyCar, BTCC and many more! Follow me on Twitter: @jgroves1996

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