Shanghai: McLaren's British driver Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest lap time in the first practice session of the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix onFriday.

The 27-year-old Hamilton only ran seven laps Friday morning and clocked one minute 37.106 seconds in the sixth lap to put McLaren on top of the timesheets as this weekend's Chinese event got underway in Shanghai.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg finished over one second behind Hamliton in damp conditions, with his teammate and compatriot Michael Schumacher finishing third, Xinhua reported.

After a surprise second place in the Malaysian Grand Prix three weeks ago, Sauber's Mexican Sergio Perez once again proved he will be a serious contender in Shanghai as he finished fourth ahead of teammate Kamui Kobayashi and the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the current leader of the drivers' standings could only manage 11th place while teammate Felipe Massa finished 3 seconds behind in 12th place.