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Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in FP1

Lewis Hamilton continued the Mercedes team's dominance of the 2014 Formula 1 season by topping first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Malaysian GP winner was fastest during the opening half-hour of the 90-minute session, during which drivers are permitted to use their extra set of medium-compound Pirellis, lapping 0.113s faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Both Mercedes waited until the final 20 minutes of the session to head out on their second set of mediums, by which time Ferrari's Fernando Alonso had taken top spot after setting a time four tenths of a second faster than Hamilton's first run despite a brief lock-up at Turn 10.

Hamilton then set the fastest time of the session in all three sectors to reclaim top spot, the second time he has been quickest during FP1 in three 2014 races.

Rosberg retained second place, although he was around a tenth slower than Hamilton had been on the first runs, ending up 0.231s off the pace.

Alonso ended the session third fastest, four-and-a-half tenths slower than Hamilton and 0.169s ahead of Nico Hulkenberg as the Ferrari and Force India drivers continued the battle that has raged throughout the season so far.

The German looked to have the potential to outpace the Ferrari after lapping a quarter-of-a-second faster than Alonso in sector one but lost time over the rest of the lap.

Alonso endured an abortive start to his running on his second set of rubber, Ferrari inadvertently sending him out of the garage with one soft tyre and three mediums. He stopped in the pitlane and was dragged back to the garage to replace the soft.

Jenson Button's McLaren was fifth fastest, just ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who had a big lock-up at Turn 1 and ran off the track while on his long-run on his second set of mediums.

The second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen was seventh fastest, ahead of Daniil Kvyat's Scuderia Toro Rosso, the 19-year-old Russian ended up 1.5s off the fastest time.

World champion Sebastian Vettel was only 10th fastest behind the second Force India of Sergio Perez, 1.887s slower than Hamilton, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo a second slower in 14th.

Felipe Massa was the quickest Williams, setting the 11th fastest time after completing only one installation lap on his first set of tyres.

Three reserve drivers made their first appearances of the season during the session, with Felipe Nasr, driving Valtteri Bottas's Williams, the quickest of them in 13th place.

Sauber's Giedo van der Garde, who took over Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber, was 18th fastest, with Caterham's Robin Frijns 21st quickest in Kamui Kobayashi's car.


Pos Driver                Team                    Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                1m37.502s            14
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1m37.733s  +0.231s   13
 3. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1m37.953s  +0.451s   17
 4. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1m38.122s  +0.620s   10
 5. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1m38.636s  +1.134s   16
 6. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                 1m38.783s  +1.281s   12
 7. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes        1m38.949s  +1.447s   15
 8. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault      1m39.056s  +1.554s   24
 9. Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes    1m39.102s  +1.600s   21
10. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1m39.389s  +1.887s   16
11. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes       1m39.533s  +2.031s   11
12. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      1m39.862s  +2.360s   26
13. Felipe Nasr           Williams-Mercedes       1m40.078s  +2.576s   14
14. Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault        1m40.406s  +2.904s   19
15. Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari          1m40.652s  +3.150s   20
16. Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault           1m40.793s  +3.291s   31
17. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari        1m40.$89s  +3.387s   20
18. Giedo van der Garde   Sauber-Ferrari          1m40.913s  +3.411s   20
19. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           1m41.036s  +3.534s   24
20. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari        1m41.794s  +4.292s   20
21. Robin Frijns          Caterham-Renault        1m42.417s  +4.915s   35
22. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault        1m42.711s  +5.209s   21


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