Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    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)