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Chinese F1 driver Ma finishes bottom while Rosberg heads first free practice in China GP


19:00, April 12, 2013

Caterham reserve driver Ma Qinghua reacts in front of a camera during the first practice session of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit, in Shanghai, east China, on April 12, 2013. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

SHANGHAI, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Ma Qinghua, the first ever Formula One world championship driver from China, completed his home debut at the bottom of the first practice session classification in Shanghai International Circuit here Friday, when Nico Rosberg headed Mercedes one-two to kick off this weekend's China Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old Ma, who became a test driver for the later dismissed HRT F1 team, set his fastest time in one minute and 43.545 seconds, 6.828 seconds behind last year's drivers champion Rosberg of Germany, who came strongly from the very beginning and set the fastest time of one minute and 36.717 seconds.

Rosberg's fastest time was nearly half a second faster than his teammate Lewis Hamilton, while Red Bull's Mark Webber was third with a same time margin behind.

Another Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, last F1 event's drivers champion in Malaysia, finished the fourth in 1:37.942, ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Jenson Button.

Brazilian Felipe Massa, who has the chance this weekend to become the first teammate ever to out-qualify Fernando Alonso for five races in a row, set the seventh fastest time for Ferrari with a time of 1:38.095, while Finn Kimi Raikkonen managed the 11th after a session that included a quick spin at Turn Nine.

Most of the teams had upgrades on the cars following the three-week break since Malaysia.

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