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Hamilton edges out Rosberg in FP1

NEWS STORY
04/04/2014

Ahead of today's opening session, the air temperature is 24 degrees C, while the track temperature is 37 degrees.

Tyres available this weekend are medium (prime) and soft (option), whilst the two DRS zones are on the start-finish straight and on the approach to T11.

There are a number of test drivers on duty this morning, Robin Frijns replacing Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham, Felipe Nasr in for Valtteri Bottas at Williams and Giedo Van der Garde for Esteban Gutierrez at Sauber.

Other than Nasr joining Williams, Felipe Massa's old mucker Rob Smedley joins the Grove outfit this weekend.

Having won the opening rounds, Mercedes is again expected to dominate here indeed, this may well be the case until the European season gets underway.

Sadly, though it has only won two races there already appears to be a backlash, and whilst fans are right to claim that the new rules have not turned the sort on its head, it is totally wrong for some teams to be crying 'foul' and suggesting that changes need to be made.

Whilst we do believe the sport is not giving its customers what they want, as we said during the days of Ferrari domination and again when Red Bull was winning, it is up to the others to improve not to penalise the success of the leaders.

What will be interesting, and something the critics will sure seize upon is the speed of the cars in this session compared to the GP2 cars which were on track earlier. Best lap posted in that session was 1:42.062 posted by New Zealand's Mitch Evans.

The lights go green and Ericsson is first out, followed by Vergne and Van der Garde. Raikkonen, Vettel and Ricciardo are also early risers, Red Bull having brought a lot of updates here. In no time at all, all but the McLaren duo have made an appearance.

"I've lost drive at the moment," says Rosberg, "I don't have much power."

Button and Magnussen finally leave the pits, both stay out for a second lap. Frijns back on track also.

"There is a problem," with the brakes says Magnussen. "The car is pulling to the left under braking," he adds before revealing that the pedal has gone 'long'. Needless to say, brakes are very, very important here.

Frijns crosses the line at 1:45.483 as the crew in the Mercedes garage appears to have fixed the problem on Rosberg's car.

Nasr goes quickest, the Brazilian posting 41.311 as Kvyat, Maldonado, Sutil and Perez head down the pitlane.

Kvyat goes quickest (39.453), ahead of Perez, Vergne, Nasr and Frijns as Button and Alonso head down the pitlane.

On his first flying lap Button can only manage third (40.044) as the cameras pick up on a piece of debris on the track.

No messing as Rosberg posts 38.508 to eclipse Kvyat by almost a second, though Hulkenberg goes second (38.632) moments later.

As Hamilton goes quickest (38.395), Grosjean complains that he has "no rear end at all".

Having gone tenth on his first lap (40.469), Vettel fails yo improve next time around nonetheless, the Red Bull looks 'grippy'.

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