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MENAFN - Qatar News Agency - 16/03/2014
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(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg set the pace in practice for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes shaped as the team to beat at the much awaited season-opener.



With teams adapting to a raft of technical changes in Formula One, Hamilton overcame mechanical problems in the first session to time quickest in the second run-out ahead of his team-mat



Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third fastest while four-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel, who endured endless problems in pre-season testing, placed an encouraging fourt



"We got a nice foundation for the weekend in the second session today so hopefully we can build on hat in P3 (free practice three) tomorrow afternoon and then see where we are in qualifying," AFP quoted Hamilton, the 2008 world champion as sayin




The sessions were closely watched as the revamped cars, with new, quieter turbocharged engines and energy recovery systems, took to the Melbourne circuit for the first tim



Hamilton and Rosberg have been tipped to fight it out in Sunday's race, given Mercedes' superior pre-season testing and adjustment to the technical changes, which also include a fuel limi



Hamilton put in a scorching lap on soft tyres to post a best time of one minute 29.625, some 0.157secs ahead of Germany's Rosberg (1:29.782



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