F1: Mercs on top in Malaysian GP practice

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

    Published On Sep 30, 2016 08:06:00 PM

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    F1: Mercs on top in Malaysian GP practice

    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
    1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m34.944s-35
    2Nico RosbergMercedes1m35.177s0.233s36
    3Sebastian VettelFerrari1m35.605s0.661s37
    4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m35.842s0.898s31
    5Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault1m36.037s1.093s29
    6Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m36.284s1.340s33
    7Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m36.296s1.352s27
    8Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m36.337s1.393s30
    9Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m36.390s1.446s37
    10Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1m36.715s1.771s22
    11Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Ferrari1m36.836s1.892s30
    12Jolyon PalmerRenault1m36.940s1.996s36
    13Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1m37.016s2.072s37
    14Esteban GutierrezHaas/Ferrari1m37.048s2.104s28
    15Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m37.110s2.166s19
    16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Ferrari1m37.297s2.353s29
    17Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m37.449s2.505s28
    18Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1m37.547s2.603s26
    19Kevin MagnussenRenault1m37.664s2.720s19
    20Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m37.789s2.845s25
    21Pascal WehrleinManor/Mercedes1m37.878s2.934s34
    22Esteban OconManor/Mercedes1m37.990s3.046s36

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