Russian GP: Nico Rosberg Tops Lewis Hamilton in Opening Practice Amid Support for Jules Bianchi

German Nico Rosberg, who trails Lewis Hamilton by 10 points in the title race with four races remaining, ended up fastest with a best lap time of one minute and 42.311 seconds, just 0.065 seconds faster than his British Mercedes team-mate.

updated: October 10, 2014 14:30 IST
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Rosberg Hamilton Russian GP First Practice
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany (C) leads Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (R) after the safety car entered the pit to start the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka on October 5, 2014.


Sochi, Russia: Nico Rosberg topped the times ahead of championship leader and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Friday's sun-swept opening free practice for Sunday's inaugural Russian Grand Prix.

Five days after Jules Bianchi's devastating accident brought the rain-lashed Japanese Grand Prix to a premature end, the paddock and pit-lane were glad to focus their attention on learning their way around the new Olympic Park circuit and expressing their support for the 25-year-old Frenchman on the track.

The Marussia team ran only one car in a demonstration of their support for the absent Bianchi, who was severely-injured in last Sunday's Japanese race and remained in intensive care in hospital in Japan, as the action began. (Formula One Debates Risks After a Driver is Badly Hurt)

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