GP Malesya, prove libere venerdì–27/03/2015
Malaysian GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice two after early problem
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton bounced back from an engine problem that sidelined him for the morning session to top the times in second practice for Formula 1’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion stopped on track on only his fifth lap in first practice following a failure on the power unit inlet system and missed the rest of the session.
But Mercedes fixed the problem and got Hamilton out 40 minutes into second practice at a scorching hot Sepang International Circuit.
The Briton’s initial flying lap on the hard-compound Pirelli tyres was good enough for sixth but his run was disrupted by telemetry problems.
He rejoined the fray with just over 20 minutes remaining and clocked the fastest lap of the day – a 1m39.790s on the mediums to finish 0.373 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Nico Rosberg led the way after the initial runs on the hards, but lost time in sectors two and three on his qualifying simulation and ended up third quickest, 0.428s adrift of team-mate Hamilton.
Drivers struggled for grip as track temperatures hovered around 60C, hotter than anything the teams encountered in the entire 2014 season.
Sebastian Vettel was caught out on his qualifying simulation, losing the rear end of the Ferrari on the approach to Turn 11.
The German kept the car out of the gravel but did not do another quick lap on the options, instead choosing to switch his attention to longer runs. He ended up seventh.
After spending the first half of the session in the garage, Daniil Kvyat eventually headed out on track and pumped in the fourth fastest time in the Red Bull, 0.556s off the pace.
However, there were frowns on the Red Bull pitwall with a few minutes remaining when the Russian reported an engine problem on team radio.
Valtteri Bottas was fifth quickest ahead of Williams team-mate Felipe Massa, whose team was given a suspended fine after the Brazilian ran a set of tyres outside the permitted window in practice one.
Teenager Max Verstappen was eighth quickest in the Toro Rosso, 1.4s adrift of Hamilton, with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo completing the top 10.
Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado was 11th, followed by Sauber’s Felipe Nasr in 12th and Force India’s Sergio Perez in 13th.
Carlos Sainz Jr could not repeat his good form for Toro Rosso from first practice, where he finished fifth quickest, as he ended up 14th, 1.1s slower than team-mate Verstappen while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was 15th.
McLaren was able to get some good mileage, but Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button finished down in 16th and 17th respectively, 2.7s off the pace.
Alonso’s long-run was disrupted when he locked-up at the Turn 15 hairpin and skated off into the gravel before recovering to the pits with a flat-spot.
Romain Grosjean reported a loss of power and retreated to the pits, with Lotus ending the Frenchman’s session 30 minutes early to investigate the problem.
Grosjean was 18th quickest, after completing just seven laps, one place ahead of Manor’s Will Stevens.
The other Manor of Roberto Merhi finished last, having brought out the red flag with a little over 30 minutes of the session gone.
The Spaniard, who ended up 20th and last, looked like he was struggling for rear grip and spun at Turn 11, beaching the Manor in the gravel.
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.346s||0.556s||17|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.220s||1.430s||30|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.799s||2.009s||8|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.242s||2.452s||24|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.291s||2.501s||31|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.330s||2.540s||28|
Malaysian GP: Rosberg fastest in practice, problems for Hamilton
Nico Rosberg topped opening practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton completing only four laps before stopping on track.
The German was fastest by a second during the first half-hour of the 90 minutes of running.
Rosberg then bolted on his second set of hard-compound Pirelli tyres and improved his time by 0.437s, although some strong sector times suggested that he could have been even quicker.
Hamilton was unable to complete a flying lap after aborting his first four-lap run and then grinding to a halt on his fifth lap at Turn 9.
Radio communications suggested that this was a precautionary measure because of concerns about damaging the engine, leading to the team telling Hamilton to shut the car down rather than bringing it back to the pits.
Hamilton’s absence meant that Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was able to end the session second fastest, banging in a lap just 0.373s off Rosberg in the dying moments of the session.
Raikkonen had run well on his first set of hard rubber, although he did have a brief off at Turn 15, ending up as best of the rest.
He then set a time within nine tenths of Rosberg before his late improvement.
Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel had a troubled start to the day, failing to set a time on his first set of tyres, which can only be used during the first 30 minutes of the session.
But he returned to the track late and went third fastest, 0.861s down, momentarily snatching second from Raikkonen late in the session, seconds before the Finn improved again.
Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest for Lotus, although one of the stars of the session was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr in fifth.
The Spaniard was second fastest in the first half-hour and that time proved to be good enough for fifth overall even though he was unable to make the expected improvement on his second set of tyres.
Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest ahead of Max Verstappen, with the lead Williams of Valtteri Bottas eighth fastest.
Bottas was returning after missing the Australian GP thanks to a back injury, although he had been warned that he may suffer some pain.
Daniil Kvyat was ninth fastest in the second Red Bull ahead of the lead Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Felipe Massa was 11th fastest, but the Brazilian should have set a quicker time.
On his first flier on his second set of rubber, he ran wide at Turn 11 and took a bite of the gravel, and while he subsequently improved it’s likely he would have been several places higher had he not made the error.
Pastor Maldonado was 12th, just ahead of Sauber debutant Raffaele Marciello, who had taken over Felipe Nasr’s car.
The returning Fernando Alonso was just behind in 14th place, the McLaren driver lapping 2.761s off the pace.
That put the McLaren ahead of the two Force Indias, with Jenson Button down in 17th, a couple of tenths slower than Alonso.
The Manor team made good on its promise to hit the track early in practice. Will Stevens left the pits in the second minute and team-mate Roberto Merhi completed his first lap after 13 minutes.
Although both managed to complete just a single installation lap during the first half-hour of the session, Stevens returned to the track on a second set of tyres and worked down to a best time of 1m46.686s to take 18th place.
Crucially, this was within 107 per cent of Rosberg’s pacesetting time, which is encouraging for Manor’s hopes of qualifying.
Merhi was unable to return to the circuit until the final 15 minutes after his first lap, but while he managed to set a lap of 1m47.683s on that brief run, that was just over half a second off the 107 per cent barrier.
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.596s||1.472s||26|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.787s||1.663s||15|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.803s||1.679s||23|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.055s||1.931s||18|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.893s||2.769s||13|
|16||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.054s||2.930s||15|