De la Rosa Fastest in Practice 1 - China

Pedro de la Rosa put McLaren on top in the opening practice session for Sunday's season-ending Chinese Grand Prix as they began their battle to beat Renault to the Constructors' Championship in strong form

De la Rosa Fastest in Practice 1 - China

McLaren currently sit two points behind their rivals with 18 available from the final race at the Shanghai circuit, and Spanish test driver de la Rosa displayed their pace by finishing almost two seconds ahead of his closest rival.

His time of 1:33.563 put him 1.840 seconds ahead of Rubens Barrichello, who posted a fast late lap in the session as he began preparations for his final race for Ferrari before departing for BAR-Honda.

Ricardo Zonta finished third fastest for Toyota, 1.910 seconds behind de la Rosa, with Finn Kimi Raikkonen fourth fastest in the second McLaren and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya sixth, behind the second Ferrari of Michael Schumacher.

Fernando Alonso finished seventh fastest in his Renault with Mark Webber eighth for Williams, David Coulthard ninth for Red Bull and Jenson Button, recovering from a viral infection, in tenth for BAR-Honda.

In hazy, foggy conditions and temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius de la Rosa posted the first time of the session and with half an hour gone he led Zonta by more than a second with a lap of 1:35.362.

Karthikeyan went off at turn 14, as did Barrichello, as the session hit its midpoint, then Massa went off at turn nine, Fisichella spun his Renault into the gravel at turn two and Raikkonen went off at turn 14.

All 24 of the drivers took the opportunity to complete full laps during the session with Zonta and Red Bull Racing test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi completing the most on 24.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:33.463 20 2. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:35.303 + 1.840 13 3. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:35.373 + 1.910 24 4. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:35.481 + 2.018 5 5. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:35.494 + 2.031 12 6. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:35.521 + 2.058 9 7. Alonso Renault (M) 1:35.605 + 2.142 10 8. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:35.945 + 2.482 13 9. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:36.089 + 2.626 10 10. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:36.096 + 2.633 11 11. Pizzonia Williams-BMW (M) 1:36.208 + 2.745 12 12. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:36.829 + 3.366 11 13. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:36.866 + 3.403 13 14. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:37.119 + 3.656 24 15. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:37.123 + 3.660 11 16. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:37.143 + 3.680 5 17. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:37.490 + 4.027 8 18. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:37.688 + 4.225 7 19. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:37.764 + 4.301 9 20. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:38.308 + 4.845 15 21. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:39.088 + 5.625 11 22. Kiesa Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:39.687 + 6.224 21 23. Doornbos Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:40.724 + 7.261 14 24. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:40.787 + 7.324 13 All timing unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa
Author Will Gray
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