F1: Mercs on top in Malaysian GP practice

F1: Mercs on top in Malaysian GP practice

30th Sep 2016 8:06 pm

Drivers struggled with low grip levels early in FP2 on Sepang's brand new surface, with track temperatures soaring to 56C.

Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton set the fastest times in both practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

In the second sesssion, the reigning world champion clocked a 1m34.944s on the soft tyres to outpace Rosberg by 0.233s with Sebastian Vettel four tenths further back.

Drivers struggled with low grip levels early in FP2 on Sepang's brand new surface, with track temperatures soaring to 56C, but conditions improved as more rubber was put down.

Hamilton set the early pace on the hard tyres, clocking a 1m35.956s, six tenths quicker than Rosberg on the same rubber.

They then switched to the soft tyres for qualifying simulations with Hamilton edging out his team-mate again.

Attention then switched to gathering long run data for Sunday's race with the Mercedes duo running all three compounds between them.

Kimi Raikkonen reported there was "something not correct with the car" and retreated back to the pits so his Ferrari team could investigate.

The Finn rejoined and set the fourth quickest time on his second attempt on the softs, 0.2s adrift of team-mate Vettel.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fifth quickest, one second off the pace, ahead of Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso.

Alonso continued to run Honda's updated power unit, after encountering a smooth session in FP1, but the plan is to revert to the previous spec for the remainder of the weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button completed the top 10.

Renault's Jolyon Palmer was 12th, 1.996s off the pace, while his team did a good job to repair team-mate Kevin Magnussen's car and get the Dane out midway through the session.

He did not set a timed lap in FP1 after his car was heavily damaged when it caught fire in the pitlane after his installation laps.

But he managed 19 laps in FP2, including a qualifying simulation on soft tyres, to end the session 19th.

FP2 TIMES

POSDRIVERCARTIMEGAPLAPS
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.944s - 35
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.177s 0.233s 36
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m35.605s 0.661s 37
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m35.842s 0.898s 31
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m36.037s 1.093s 29
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m36.284s 1.340s 33
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m36.296s 1.352s 27
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m36.337s 1.393s 30
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m36.390s 1.446s 37
10 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m36.715s 1.771s 22
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m36.836s 1.892s 30
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m36.940s 1.996s 36
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m37.016s 2.072s 37
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m37.048s 2.104s 28
15 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m37.110s 2.166s 19
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m37.297s 2.353s 29
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m37.449s 2.505s 28
18 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m37.547s 2.603s 26
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m37.664s 2.720s 19
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m37.789s 2.845s 25
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m37.878s 2.934s 34
22 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m37.990s 3.046s 36
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