Hamilton fastest in Chinese practice

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheet in the second practice session for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix to complete a dominant day for McLaren.

Team-mate Jenson Button had set the pace in a dramatic morning session and it was Hamilton's turn to lead the way in the afternoon as he clocked a time of one minute 35.217seconds on the Shanghai International Circuit.



That left Mercedes' Nico Rosberg once again having to settle for the second fastest time with the German 0.248secs behind Hamilton.



Reigning world champion Button was third fastest while Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finished as they did in the morning in fourth and fifth place respectively.



Red Bull's Mark Webber improved two places to take sixth while Force India's Adrian Sutil suggested he could be competitive once again this weekend with the seventh fastest time.



Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari claimed eighth as the young Spaniard managed to avoid the mechanical troubles that had seen his team-mate Sebastien Buemi crash in bizarre fashion in the first practice session.



Buemi's STR5 lost both front suspension assemblies when he braked on the long back straight which resulted in his two front wheels popping off, leaving the Swiss driver to slide into the gravel trap.



The Toro Rosso engineers tried in vain to fix Buemi's car for the second session but in the end they were unable to get it ready in time.



Renault's Robert Kubica finished ninth while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso put behind him engine problems that had cut short his morning session to clock the 10th fastest time. Team-mate and current drivers' championship leader Felipe Massa was just behind in 11th.



After the drama of the opening session the second was largely uneventful with the McLarens of Hamilton and Button and the Mercedes of Rosberg trading places at the top of the timesheet.



Rosberg led the way for a long period during the middle of the session but Hamilton clocked the fastest lap of the day with 40 minutes remaining and he stayed there to the end of the session.



Of Formula One's new teams Lotus were the better performers with Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen 18th and 19th respectively, although the latter saw technical problems end his session with seven minutes remaining.



Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi were 20th and 21st with HRT's Karun Chandhok splitting the two Virgin Racing cars. Chandhok's team-mate Bruno Senna finished in 23rd place.



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