Vettel, Hamilton set pace in first practice day for Japanese GP
Suzuka (Japan) Oct 6 (IANS) The fierce competition between Ferrari s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes Lewis Hamilton continued on Friday as they set the pace in the practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix -- Formula One s 16th race of the season.
Four-time world champion Vettel was the fastest in the first free practice session after clocking one minute and 29.166 seconds -- 0.211s ahead of Hamilton who is bidding for his fourth title reports Efe.
Both drivers were followed by Red Bull s Daniel Ricciardo with a time of one minute and 29.541 seconds ahead of Ferrari s other driver Kimi Raikkonen.
The session was halted briefly after Toro Rosso s Carlos Sainz lost control over his car and headed into the barrels.
While Sainz was unhurt the car was damaged.
The second session however was marred by bad weather and delayed indefinitely.
The free practice lasted just for 45 minutes almost half of its scheduled duration due to the rain.
On the top of the time sheet was Hamilton with a time of one minute and 48.719 seconds 0.799s ahead of Force India s Esteban Ocon followed by teammate Sergio Perez.
Vettel squandered an early lead in the 2017 driver standings with Hamilton bouncing back to take the top spot with a current lead of 34 points.