Massa tops opening Sakhir practice
19 April 2013 – Felipe Massa set the pace in the opening practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, delivering a personal best effort of 1:34.487 on the Hard compound tyre allocation. The Brazilian led Ferrari team-mate and Shanghai victor Fernando Alonso by 0.077 seconds, while Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg completed the top three.
As the session progressed and the remainder of the field began full runs, Red Bull and Ferrari moved to the front of the order. After Sebastian Vettel’s pace-setting effort, the Ferrari pairing of Alonso and Massa established their authority, with the latter overcoming visible setup issues to take the top spot.
Rosberg, who was last to leave the pit lane alongside team-mate Lewis Hamilton, wound up 0.134 seconds adrift of Massa in third, while Vettel slipped back to fourth in the leading Red Bull. Force India's Paul di Resta stayed within half a second of Massa, putting his car just ahead of McLaren rival and fellow Briton Jenson Button.
In the battle at the back of the grid, Caterham held the early advantage courtesy of Charles Pic’s fastest lap. The Frenchman finished comfortably ahead of the returning Heikki Kovalainen, while Marussia’s Max Chilton wound up a full second further back. Rodolfo González, making his first practice appearance, completed the order.
Friday’s second practice session at Sakhir gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +3) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net Live Report