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Hamilton fastest at practice

Manama: Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in a shimmering one-two in floodlit practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Friday.

The 2008 world champion, winner in steamy Malaysia last weekend ahead of championship leader Rosberg, picked up where he left off on the first day of action at the Sakhir desert circuit.

Hamilton was fastest in both sessions with a best time of one minute 34.325 seconds in cooler evening conditions after a 1:37.502 in the afternoon sunshine.

Sunday’s race, the 10th held in the restive Gulf kingdom since Bahrain hosted the Middle East’s first Formula One Grand Prix, has moved to a day-to-night format.

Rosberg's fastest lap, in a session that saw track temperatures drop from 33 degrees celsius on a bright and breezy afternoon to a balmy 25 after dark, was 0.365 slower than his British teammate.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third fastest in both sessions, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo fourth in the evening and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg filling that spot in the afternoon.

Ricciardo again suffered problems with his car’s fuel flow sensor, the same part that has failed in both of the first two races of the season.

McLaren’s Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion who will be starting his 250th race on Sunday, was fifth and sixth in the respective sessions.