Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hiroshima's Healing Hug

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Uganda Terror Trial: Five jailed for life for 2010 Al-Shabaab World Cup Bombings

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obama in Hiroshima and Austria's close call (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

French labour strikes, raids on Google and McDonald's (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Ukraine: Searching for missing people in Donbass

Read more

REVISITED

Video: What remains of the Gezi movement in Turkey?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Euro 2016: France readies for kick off

Read more

ENCORE!

Anne A-R : The people beyond the numbers: A photographic manifesto from the migrant trail

Read more

ENCORE!

Video: Ken Loach wins his second Palme d'Or in Cannes

Read more

Return to form for Hamilton in China's opening practice

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-04-17

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in opening practice at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday, marking a return to form for the 24-year-old world champion who has scored just one point from the opening two races of the 2009 campaign.

AFP - World champion Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a return to form Friday ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, leading the timesheets after the first practice session.

The 24-year-old Englishman, stripped of a podium finish in Australia after misleading stewards in a post-race hearing, has scored just one point from the opening two races of his 2009 campaign.

But he finished the first practice at the Shanghai International Circuit with a best lap of 1 minute 37.334 seconds, 0.116 seconds ahead of compatriot Jenson Button in a Brawn GP.

Button's teammate Rubens Barrichello was third, while Hamilton’s teammate, Finn Heikki Kovalainen, was fourth, 0.338secs slower than his McLaren stablemate. Australian Mark Webber was fifth for Red Bull Racing.

Hamilton benefitted from his car being fitted with a version of the double-decker diffuser that has served Brawn and Toyota well this season as he took top spot from early pacesetter Jarno Trulli.

He was briefly deposed from the lead by Button, winner of both races this season, before producing his session-best lap on the one-hour mark, with the top five remaining unchanged in the latter stages of the session.

While McLaren displayed signs of a resurgence, Ferrari’s 2009 woes continued with Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa ending 11th and 15th place respectively.

Both Ferraris, along with Williams' Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota’s Timo Glock and Renault's Nelson Piquet, were among cars to run wide or off the circuit in windy conditions, with all drivers able to regroup and continue.

Trulli spent over 30 minutes in the pits after a problem with his steering wheel display on his Toyota after showing considerable pace in the first half-hour.

A second 90-minute session will be held later Friday.

Date created : 2009-04-17

COMMENT(S)