Ferrari driver Felipe Massa set the fastest time in Friday’s practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix, bringing praise from his team for an “incredible” performance.

Massa set a best time of 1 minute, 35.340 seconds around the Shanghai International Circuit in the afternoon session, putting him 0.15 seconds ahead of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, with Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso third.

Massa’s strong performance surprised even Ferrari, being told over his pit-to-car radio that “the pace is not good, it’s incredible.”

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was fourth fastest and Red Bull’s Mark Webber fifth, while his teammate and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel was down in 10th.

McLaren driver Jenson Button was sixth and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton seventh, with many drivers complaining of high tyre degradation.

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