SHANGHAI -- Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg topped the leaderboard as expected after the first practice session at the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday, more than one second faster than Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in third.
Hamilton set the fastest time in the morning session at 1 minute, 39.033 seconds, about 0.5 second faster than his teammate, Rosberg, and 1.1 seconds faster than Vettel.
The only problems for Mercedes came when Hamilton and Rosberg both locked brakes at turn six, briefly running off the track.
Although Vettel topped the silver cars two weeks ago at the Malaysian Grand Prix, Mercedes is favored to set the pace in China due to the cooler track temperatures and the long straights at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Red Bull has switched brake packages for the Chinese Grand Prix after overheating issues in Malaysia, but Ricciardo was still hampered by brake problems in the practice session, pitting for several minutes as his team tried to cool the brakes down.
For the first time this season, the two Manor cars were on the track at the same time in practice, but Will Stevens and Roberto Mehri were well off the pace, more than six seconds behind Hamilton's time.