Michael Schumacher quickest in second practice for the Chinese Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher ended the first day of practice for the Chinese Grand Prix on top of the timesheets

After rain restricted the number of laps completed in the morning, every team opted for an intense schedule during the second 90-minute.

Morning pacesetter Lewis Hamilton picked up where he left off early on, hitting top spot after just eight minutes while on a six-lap run on medium Pirellis.

With everyone opting for primes for their first serious runs, Hamilton's time was 0.134s faster than Schumacher, with Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel two-tenths further back.

Hamilton and the Mercedes driver continued on mediums on their second run, while Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi jumped up to third place with a lap within a tenth-and-a-half off Hamilton on the half-hour mark. A few minutes later, the Japanese survived a lurid slide off the track after being caught out while pushing too hard.

Vettel was the first of the frontrunners to set a time on the soft compound tyre, lapping a quarter-of-a-second quicker than Hamilton on the first flier of his second run and subsequently improving by another four tenths of a second.

Team-mate Mark Webber, running the latest-spec exhaust compared to the early specification used in the first part of pre-season testing that Vettel ran, slotted in just under three-tenths behind his team-mate not long before the halfway point of the session.

While the Red Bulls had taken three laps to get the peak performance out of their soft tyres, both Schumacher and Hamilton, who shortly after headed out on their fresh soft rubber, extracted the performance from their tyres immediately.

Schumacher posted his best time, a 1m35.973s, on his first flier, but Hamilton looked set to outpace him after setting the best time of all in sectors one and two before losing his advantage, and another 0.172s, in the final sector.

Neither Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes, nor Jenson Button in the second McLaren, were able to match the pace of their team-mates, ending up fifth and sixth ahead of Kobayashi, whose earlier lap on prime rubber was enough for seventh overall.

Force India driver Paul di Resta ended up eighth fastest, within a second of the outright pace and a couple of tenths ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, with Alonso, who couldn't get the maximum out of his soft tyres on his first flying lap, just behind.

Several drivers had offs during the session. Both di Resta and Caterham driver Vitaly Petrov suffered spins at the final corner after running wide at the exit and losing it on the damp runoff, but the biggest moment of the day was provided by Marussia driver Timo Glock.

The German appeared to lose his front wing under braking for Turn 1, locking up and clattering through the gravel trap and ending up against the barrier. The team was uncertain as to the cause of the off, but Glock's initial concern that he had hurt his hands soon abated.

Pos  Driver                Team                   Time               Laps
 1.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m35.973             32
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m36.145s  + 0.172   29
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m36.160s  + 0.187   26
 4.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m36.433s  + 0.460   23
 5.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m36.617s  + 0.644   30
 6.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m36.711s  + 0.738   27
 7.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m36.956s  + 0.983   28
 8.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m36.966s  + 0.993   30
 9.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1m37.191s  + 1.218   30
10.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m37.316s  + 1.343   32
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m37.417s  + 1.444   22
12.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m37.616s  + 1.643   33
13.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m37.836s  + 1.863   30
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m37.930s  + 1.957   31
15.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m37.972s  + 1.999   25
16.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m38.176s  + 2.203   34
17.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m38.293s  + 2.320   30
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault       1m38.783s  + 2.810   37
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1m38.990s  + 3.017   36
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1m39.346s  + 3.373   19
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1m39.651s  + 3.678   15
22.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1m40.343s  + 4.370   24
23.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1m40.753s  + 4.780   30
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1m41.125s  + 5.162   26

All Timing Unofficial
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