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Sebastian Vettel fastest in first practice for Chinese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel fastest in first practice for Chinese GP
© Reuters
Hamilton split the two Ferraris in FP1.

Sebastian Vettel responded to his disappointing showing in Bahrain by setting the fastest lap in opening practice ahead of Formula One's 1,000th race.

The Ferrari driver left the last round under a cloud after he was beaten by his team-mate Charles Leclerc. He also spun for a fourth time in his last 10 appearances.

But here in Shanghai, the four-time world champion set the quickest time of the first running, finishing 0.207 seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton with Leclerc third.

Ferrari held a speed advantage over Mercedes in Bahrain, and that form appears to have carried through to China.

Indeed, neither Ferrari driver used the fastest tyre available this weekend.

Hamilton, who has won five times in China, will be pleased to have split the two red machines.

His team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, who leads the championship by a single point, finished a distant fifth, three-quarters of a second off the pace.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fourth, within half a second of Vettel's best time.

British teenager Lando Norris delivered McLaren's best result in more than a year after his fine drive to sixth in Bahrain a fortnight ago.

The 19-year-old finished 13th on Friday, 1.7 sec adrift of Vettel, but was more than a tenth ahead of Carlos Sainz in the sister McLaren.

Britain's other novice George Russell propped up the order for Williams, nearly four seconds off the pace, and behind team-mate Robert Kubica.

Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo finished an encouraging sixth for Renault, one place ahead of Pierre Gasly, the driver who replaced the Australian at Red Bull.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States14161141
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia912930
Great BritainGreat Britain57820
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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