Rosberg quickest as tyre failures disrupt practice

2016 Chinese Grand Prix first practice

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Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in the first practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. However proceedings were overshadowed by a series of tyre failures which caused two stoppages.

The running was stopped for over a quarter of an hour after Felipe Massa suffered his second left-rear tyre failure in four laps and Kevin Magnussen experienced a similar-looking fault. Marshals were sent out to clean the track during the interruption but experienced difficulties with the equipment they were using, including a large net attached the the rear of a road car.

The session eventually resumed for a final eight minutes of running during which most drivers took the opportunity to improve their times. Rosberg posted the fastest with a 1’38.037, but shortly afterwards was told to back off and return to the pits with a suspected “engine issue”.

Lewis Hamilton lapped just over a tenth of a second off his team mate’s pace while Sebastian Vettel was a further half-second behind in his Ferrari. All three used soft tyres to set their quickest times.

Hamilton had a troubled start to the session as he twice spun his Mercedes at the same corner. “Something’s up,” he told his team as he headed in, “I keep having this locking into turn 11”.

Neither Massa or Magnussen managed to set times before their punctures. Esteban Gutierrez also ended the session without a time on the board due to an electrical problem on his Haas, and shortly before the chequered flag Felipe Nasr was instructed to pit with a problem in his car’s water system.

The interruptions also limited the amount of running Fernando Alonso was able to complete. The McLaren driver has to pass a medical inspection to assess his fitness after the session but was only able to do 11 laps.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.03716
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’38.1830.14616
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’38.6650.62812
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’39.0611.02413
57Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’39.1551.11811
626Daniil KvyatRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’39.6251.58814
755Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.6761.63912
822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’39.9741.93711
927Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’40.1692.13213
1033Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.2322.19513
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’40.3472.31015
1214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’40.5382.50111
1377Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’40.8282.79110
148Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’41.3583.3219
159Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’41.3933.35618
1688Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’41.6143.57720
1730Jolyon PalmerRenault1’41.8163.77916
1894Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’42.9084.87114
1912Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’42.9804.9438
2020Kevin MagnussenRenault6
2121Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari2
2219Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes4

First practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’38.037

+0.146 Lewis Hamilton – 1’38.183

+0.628 Sebastian Vettel – 1’38.665

+1.024 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’39.061

+1.118 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’39.155

+1.588 Daniil Kvyat – 1’39.625

+1.639 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’39.676

+1.937 Jenson Button – 1’39.974

+2.132 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’40.169

+2.195 Max Verstappen – 1’40.232

+2.310 Sergio Perez – 1’40.347

+2.501 Fernando Alonso – 1’40.538

+2.791 Valtteri Bottas – 1’40.828

+3.321 Romain Grosjean – 1’41.358

+3.356 Marcus Ericsson – 1’41.393

+3.577 Rio Haryanto – 1’41.614

+3.779 Jolyon Palmer – 1’41.816

+4.871 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’42.908

+4.943 Felipe Nasr – 1’42.980

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Rosberg quickest as tyre failures disrupt practice”

  1. You have the times all wrong!

    1. @philby Apologies, the table has been updated now.

  2. No need to apologise, I just found it funny!

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