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Bahrain GP: Felipe Massa tops opening practice session

Felipe Massa, FerrariFerrari kicked off its Bahrain Grand Prix weekend with a one-two for Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in Friday morning practice.

Hot on the heels of Alonso's commanding victory for the team in China, Ferrari continued to underline that its 2013 Formula 1 car is a frontrunner on merit.

In a typically cagey opening session on the dusty Sakhir track, all the frontrunners waited long into practice before actually going for flying laps, and Ferrari held off longest of all.

Nearly an hour had elapsed by the time Alonso and Massa showed their hand, and they immediately went quickest, as first Alonso did a 1m34.564s, then Massa beat it by 0.077 seconds with a 1m34.487s a few minutes later.

They duly stayed on top as everyone, as usual, focused on heavy fuel and tyre endurance for the remaining half an hour.

Nico Rosberg had been fastest for Mercedes prior to the Ferraris' laps, and retained third, 0.134s off the pace.

Sebastian Vettel was the leading Red Bull in fourth, three places ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.

Force India had a strong session. Adrian Sutil spent a while on top around the halfway point, and although he later slipped to eighth, his team-mate Paul di Resta made it up to fifth place, ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren.

Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.

Lewis Hamilton was only 13th, 1.2s slower than team-mate Rosberg, but with no sign of drama at Mercedes, the disparity appeared due to differing programmes.

Heikki Kovalainen made his F1 return in 20th place. He ended up 0.6s slower than team-mate Charles Pic in Caterham's upgraded car as he settled in. Both were ahead of the Marussias.

Rodolfo Gonzalez's GP weekend debut with Marussia was curtailed by a gearbox issue after seven laps. He brought up the rear of the timesheets, but was within 0.8s of race driver Max Chilton.

Kovalainen and Gonzalez hand their cars back to Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi respectively in the afternoon.


Pos Driver                Team                  Time      Gap       Laps
 1. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m34.487s            11
 2. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m34.564s  + 0.077s  19
 3. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m34.621s  + 0.134s  22
 4. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m34.790s  + 0.303s  20
 5. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1m34.949s  + 0.462s  17
 6. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m35.069s  + 0.582s  22
 7. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m35.101s  + 0.614s  19
 8. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1m35.119s  + 0.632s  19
 9. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m35.345s  + 0.858s  17
10. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m35.611s  + 1.124s  14
11. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes      1m35.640s  + 1.153s  23
12. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault      1m35.783s  + 1.296s  16
13. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              1m35.792s  + 1.305s  16
14. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m36.014s  + 1.527s  19
15. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m36.485s  + 1.998s  20
16. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m36.498s  + 2.011s  17
17. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari        1m36.755s  + 2.268s  20
18. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari        1m37.214s  + 2.727s  21
19. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault      1m37.850s  + 3.363s  20
20. Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m38.401s  + 3.914s  20
21. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth     1m39.445s  + 4.958s  12
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez      Marussia-Cosworth     1m40.215s  + 5.728s   7

AUTOSPORT Bahrain GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 FP3 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

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