GP Malesya, prove libere venerdì–29/09/2017
Malaysian GP: Vettel fastest, drain cover crash halts practice
Sebastian Vettel beat Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to the fastest time before second Malaysian Grand Prix practice was curtailed by a crash caused by a dislodged drain cover.
The session was red-flagged and ended just under 10 minutes early when Romain Grosjean crashed his Haas heavily having hit the drain cover.
Replays showed the Grosjean hit the cover on the Turn 12 inside kerb, after it had been flicked up by Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes, with his right-rear.
That destroyed the tyre and pitched Grosjean off the track and into the wall.
The drain cover was subsequently removed by a marshal, with FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting and FIA safety director Laurent Mekies heading out to assess the damage.
After an initial inspection, and with a little under 10 minutes to go, it was decided the session would not be restarted.
Earlier, Vettel had clocked a 1m31.261s on the Pirelli super-soft compound tyres to finish the day 0.604 seconds clear of Raikkonen up front, while Mercedes had a scrappy session.
Following the morning rain, practice two was completely dry and teams quickly got to work on a mixture of medium, soft and super-soft tyres.
Vettel set the early pace on the soft tyre, clocking 1m32.456s, with Bottas running off track at the Turn 11 right-hander and skating into the gravel before returning to the pits.
Moments later, Lewis Hamilton dipped the first kerb at the Turn 7/8 double-right and lost the rear, pitching him into a spin and across the gravel. He was also able to rejoin and return to the garage.
Max Verstappen was the first driver to turn his attention to a qualifying simulation, bolting on the super-softs and improving to second, 0.283s off Vettel’s leading time on the soft.
Daniel Ricciardo then went quickest on the super-softs with a 1m32.099s, but his time as the top was shortlived as Raikkonen and the Vettel went quicker still.
Mercedes got both drivers back out after their trips into the gravel, but Bottas could only manage fifth, 1.459s adrift of Vettel.
Hamilton was only able to go fractionally quicker to slot into fifth, and both were demoted a position when Fernando Alonso put in an impressive lap to go a tenth faster and slot his McLaren-Honda into fifth behind Verstappen.
Attention then turned to long-run data gathering in the final third of the 90-minute session.
Force India got two cars in the top 10, with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon sandwiching Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg in eighth and 10th respectively.
Jolyon Palmer was 11th quickest, just over three tenths slower than team-mate Hulkenberg while Stoffel Vandoorne was 1.1 seconds adrift of McLaren team-mate Alonso.
Felipe Massa made up for failing to set a lap time in the morning by clocking up 20 laps and achieving the 12th fastest time, two places and four tenths quicker than Williams team-mate Lance Stroll.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.099s||0.838s||19|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.109s||0.848s||11|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.862s||1.601s||20|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.096s||1.835s||24|
|15||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.043s||2.782s||22|
|16||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.104s||2.843s||19|
Malaysian Grand Prix: Red Bulls lead Alonso in wet practice one
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the pace in first practice for Formula 1’s final Malaysian Grand Prix, as running was limited because of bad weather.
Verstappen posted a 1m48.962s on the intermediate tyres late on to finish 0.757 seconds clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso was just under a second further back as he took third for McLaren.
Heavy rain drenched the Sepang circuit throughout the morning and though it briefly eased, the intensity increased just as the session was due to begin.
FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting chose to delay the session "indefinitely" because of the conditions.
The safety car completed several reconnaissance laps to assess the track and after 20 minutes it was deemed the conditions had improved.
Running started with an hour to go, with Alonso the first driver to try out the conditions on a set of wet Pirelli tyres.
Thirteen other drivers headed out and completed an installation lap before pitting, with the Mercedes, Red Bull and Force India duos choosing to stay in their respective garages at first.
The rain eventually stopped and the track dried sufficiently for Force India pair Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez to head out on the intermediates.
Ricciardo followed suit and became the first driver to set a time, clocking a 1m55.601s with around 30 minutes to go.
The times started to tumble and the Red Bulls engaged in a private battle up front that at times took them three seconds clear of their rivals.
Verstappen improved the benchmark to a 1m51.201s as the track improved, only to be usurped by team-mate Ricciardo by just 0.007s.
Ricciardo then extended the gap to 1.482s as he became the first man to dip under the 1m50s before Verstappen went nearly eight tenths quicker to steal top spot.
Alonso waited until the final minutes to come out on intermediates and immediately jumped to the ‘best of the rest’ position behind the Red Bulls.
Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were fourth and fifth quickest respectively, popping in their fastest times in the final moments of the session.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton completed just eight laps and ended up sixth fastest, 2.556s off the pace and half a second clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Lance Stroll finished eighth fastest, one place ahead of Pierre Gasly, who was making his race weekend debut in the Toro Rosso.
Sergey Sirotkin – standing in for Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg for first practice – completed the top 10.
Felipe Massa was the only driver not to set a lap time, with Williams investigating a potential hydraulic problem.
Sean Gelael had the use of Carlos Sainz Jr’s car at Toro Rosso and was 14th, while Antonio Giovinazzi was back on Haas duty in Kevin Magnussen’s car – though he only completed six laps and was slowest of those to set a time.
Runaway Formula 2 leader Charles Leclerc made the first of a string of late-season Sauber Friday morning appearances.
Leclerc replaced Marcus Ericsson and ended up 16th, three tenths quicker than team-mate Pascal Wehrlein – who was one of a handful of drivers to have spins on the slippery track.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m48.962s||–||11|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m49.719s||0.757s||12|
|9||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m52.380s||3.418s||14|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m53.896s||4.934s||6|
|14||Sean Gelael||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m54.610s||5.648s||13|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m54.669s||5.707s||4|