April 04, 2014

SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg blitzed their rivals in Friday's practice sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix, indicating the team is well poised for a third straight win to start the Formula One season.

Hamilton was fastest in both sessions, the second under lights for the first time at the Bahrain International Circuit, which is switching to a night race.

Hamilton's time of 1 minute, 34.690 seconds was one third of a second faster than teammate Rosberg, and more than a second faster than third-place Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Defending four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel was seventh on the timesheets, behind his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in fourth, with the pair split by Felipe Massa of Williams and McLaren's Jenson Button.

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