Nico Rosberg pips Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain first practice

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg celebrates after the qualifying session at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on November 28, 2015
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Nico Rosberg tops the standings in first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, going half a second quicker than Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Nico Rosberg continued his fine start to the 2016 Formula 1 season by edging out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix this afternoon.

The German, who won the first race of the season in Australia, finished top of the standings with a time of 1:32.294 around the Bahrain International Circuit.

Hamilton was half a second slower, with the next best Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen 1.834s off the pace of Rosberg.

Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat completed the top five, while Raikkonen's Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel could only post the 11th-best time.

Fernando Alonso has been forced to sit out after his big crash in Australia and his McLaren replacement, Stoffel Vandoorne, managed the 18th-fastest time, four seconds behind Rosberg's mark.

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
5. Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull)
6. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
7. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)
8. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso)
9. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
10. Felipe Massa (Williams)
11. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
12. Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
13. Esteban Gutierrez (Haas)
14. Jenson Button (McLaren)
15. Kevin Magnussen (Renault)
16. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)
17. Pascal Wehrlein (MRT)
18. Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)
19. Felipe Nasr (Sauber)
20. Jolyon Palmer (Renault)
21. Alfonso Celis (Force India)
22. Rio Haryanto (MRT)

Nico Rosberg disintegrates after winning the Australian Grand Prix on March 20, 2016
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