Rosberg tops opening practice in Suzuka

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Nico Rosberg set the pace for Mercedes during opening practice ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The German topped the 90-minute long session with a best time of 1:35.461, a tenth of a second ahead of his team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari, half a second down on Rosberg’s session topping time, but six tenths clear of Valtteri Bottas, in fourth for Williams.

Kimi Raikkonen made it both Ferraris in the top five, while the two Mclarens of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button were sixth and eighth, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo splitting the pair in seventh.

Sebastian Vettel was ninth, while Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten for Toro Rosso.

Max Verstappen, making his practice debut with Toro Rosso, was 12th fastest, just four tenths shy of his future team-mate before his session was cut short by a late turbo failure.

Robero Merhi, standing in for Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham for opening practice, ended the morning session 20th, well down on Marcus Ericsson.

Image courtesy of Daimler

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