LEWIS Hamilton went fastest for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in first official practice for the controversial 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix.

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The Formula 1 driver from Hertfordshire set the pace in P1 around the Bahrain International Circuit.

He clocked a fastest lap of 1m 33.572s around the desert track near Sahkir, with Red Bull Racing rival Sebastian Vettel second quickest on the timesheets.

Hamilton said over the McLaren radio: “The car’s not bad.”

Scot Paul di Resta, who is managed by Lewis’ father Anthony Hamilton, was third in the session for Force India and 2012 Chinese Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg fourth for Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton factfile

* Car 4: Lewis Hamilton

* Age: 27 (January 7, 1985)

* GPs: 93

* Wins: 17

* Poles: 22

* Fasest Laps: 11

Hamilton’s McLaren colleague Jenson Button was fifth in P1 with a 1m 34.277s.

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