Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to US GP F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton beat Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg to pole position for the United States Grand Prix, as Mercedes stretched out an advantage over the opposition in qualifying.
Red Bull looked fast in free practice, but it couldn’t live with Mercedes in qualifying, where Hamilton pumped in a stunning 1m34.999s lap to bag pole.
The reigning world champion did his damage through the first sector, where he was almost three tenths faster than Rosberg, who ran wide at Turn 1 on both of his Q3 laps.
Rosberg, who briefly held top spot due to finishing his lap before his team-mate, was still fast enough to set the second quickest time, almost three tenths clear of Daniel Ricciardo in the best of the Red Bulls.
Max Verstappen was fourth, ahead of Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
The Mercedes drivers and Verstappen will start the race on soft tyres after all making it through Q2 on that compound.
Nico Hulkenberg was seventh fastest for Force India, well clear of the remaining top 10 runners.
Hulkenberg was in superb form, lapping inside the top six in the first two segments of the session.
He was also the only non-Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari driver to break into the 1m36s.
Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa headed an impressive performance from the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr in rounding out the top 10.
Hulkenberg’s Force India team-mate Sergio Perez missed out on making Q3 by just over a tenth of a second.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda was six hundredths of a second further back in 12th, ahead of the second Toro Rosso of newly re-signed Daniil Kvyat, Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas, and Jolyon Palmer’s Renault.
Marcus Ericsson completed a cursory run on old tyres in Q2 so wound up 16th fastest, after lapping quicker than both Gutierrez and Palmer in Q1.
Palmer complained about his final Q1 run being a "fucking disaster" as he held up Jenson Button’s McLaren on his out-lap, but the Renault still made it through to Q2.
Button was furious to drop out in Q1, after encountering the Renault entering the final corner of his best lap.
The 2009 world champion ended up a lowly 19th in his McLaren-Honda, fractionally behind Romain Grosjean’s Haas and Kevin Magnussen’s Renault, which both also missed the cut.
Pascal Wehrlein recovered from binning his Manor in the gravel in final practice to qualify 20th fastest, ahead of Felipe Nasr – who complained about his Sauber’s brakes – and Manor team-mate Esteban Ocon.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.509s||0.510s|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.747s||0.748s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.628s||1.629s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m37.326s||2.327s|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.353s||2.354s|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m37.480s||2.481s|
US GP FP3: Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two
Max Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two in the final Formula 1 practice session ahead of the United States Grand Prix as neither Mercedes driver completed a qualifying simulation lap.
With Red Bull on a pace comparable to Mercedes at Austin so far this weekend, Verstappen topped the timesheet with a lap of 1m36.766s to finish 0.266s clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, both on super-soft tyres.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third, just over half a second down on Verstappen on his super-soft outing, leaving Hamilton and Rosberg down in fourth and fifth.
Hamilton, whose team broke curfew overnight to change the fuel system on his car, set the quickest time on soft tyres with a lap of 1m37.483s prior to the late qualifying runs that remained his best outing.
Come his super-soft run Hamilton was sent out late, and only just crossed the line to start his flying lap as the chequered flag came out.
Hamilton, however, was held up by Felipe Nasr’s Sauber halfway through the lap and backed off, leaving him to tell his team on the radio it was "poor timing guys".
Rosberg, who was three tenths off of Hamilton on his best soft-tyre lap, opted to abort his super-soft run late on.
Rosberg had set a personal best in the first sector, which has proven to be Red Bull’s strong suit so far, but he was still 0.154s down on Verstappen at that point.
Rosberg then went quickest in the middle sector to close the gap to Verstappen’s best, but ultimately the championship leader failed to complete the lap, pulling into the pits instead after running slightly wide at the penultimate corner.
Sebastian Vettel was sixth quickest in his Ferrari, but he reported a potential gearbox problem and remained in the garage for the closing stages, finishing 1.128s down.
Vettel was followed by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas in his Williams and the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso to complete the top 10.
Carlos Sainz Jr suffered two punctures during the session, initially to the right rear on only his second lap, and then half an hour later one to the left rear, leaving him down in 15th and unable to conduct his own qualifying simulation as the team checked over the car.
The hour-long session was red-flagged for 10 minutes early on after Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein lost his car under braking at Turn 19, beaching it in the gravel.
With only four laps to his name, Wehrlein finished bottom of the timesheet just over five seconds off the pace.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.766s||–||16|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.032s||0.266s||19|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.948s||1.182s||17|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.512s||1.746s||16|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m38.691s||1.925s||16|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m38.710s||1.944s||6|
Kimi Raikkonen now trusts Ferrari F1 team – Maurizio Arrivabene
Kimi Raikkonen now feels he has the trust and commitment of his mechanics and that has inspired his improved form, according to Ferrari Formula 1 team boss Maurizio Arrivabene.
Raikkonen was comfortably outperformed by team-mate Sebastian Vettel last season and Fernando Alonso the year before.
But after re-signing in July for next year, his results have improved and he now sits five points and two places ahead of Vettel in the 2016 drivers’ standings with four races to go.
Arrivabene has consistently praised Raikkonen’s performances this year, at one stage saying he is "not a world champion for nothing", but at Austin elaborated on why he thinks the Finn has got better.
"Everyone gets surprised when they are talking about Kimi’s performance but there is nothing to be surprised about," said Arrivabene.
"He’s been a world champion, with us actually, and he is quite fast.
"He was most probably suffering a bit the last few years.
"Now he can feel that the part of the team that is working with Kimi is committed to him.
"He has a very good relationship with Sebastian and that helps.
"It’s just a question for him to feel the trust of people around him and then he’s going to do his best.
"When he has to push with his feet, he’s pushing very hard."
ARRIVABENE RUBBISHES CLIMATE OF FEAR CLAIMS
Former Ferrari chief engineer Luca Baldisserri told the Italian media last week that the Scuderia is suffering from a "climate of fear" that is leaving staff afraid to take risks.
When asked for comment, Arrivabene rubbished the claims.
"The atmosphere inside the house is different to what people think about or what you are reading in the newspapers," he insisted.
"It’s an old story. Ferrari in Italy is like the Italian national football team.
"Having pressure is normal, having tension is normal, having criticism is normal so you have to live with that.
"Sometimes it’s going too far.
"Our job is to be concentrated in what we are doing, it is to follow our way.
"This is part of the job.
"If you working in Maranello, if you work for a brand like Ferrari, you have to accept all of this, like it or not."
Kimi: still work to do but no major issues
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a tricky day: in the first session, we struggled to find the right set up, and in the second practice I went off with new tires and couldn’t set a lap time. Apart from that it was a normal Friday, it looks worse than it is. We did a normal set up work and sometimes it goes like this. We did not have any major issue, we just tried to make a sense out of it and get the car exactly where we wanted. Now we have some work to do on the set up and make it correct for tomorrow. The Mercedes look very strong as they have been all year, but we’ll do our best.”
Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to Japanese GP F1 pole by 0.013s
Nico Rosberg won a thrilling battle with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to claim pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rosberg was fastest in every practice session, and topped the field again in qualifying at Suzuka, but only after a late rally against a Hamilton charge.
Hamilton trailed his team-mate in Q1 and Q2, but snuck ahead after the first runs in Q3.
Rosberg leapt back to the top of the times with a 1m30.647s best on his final lap, as Hamilton fell just 0.013s short of taking pole despite an improvement of his own at the end.
Kimi Raikkonen produced a strong lap to qualify third fastest for Ferrari, the only other driver to make it below 1m31s.
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was less than a tenth slower in fourth, but he faces a three-place drop on the grid thanks to his penalty for hitting Nico Rosberg at the first corner of last Sunday’s Malaysian GP.
Max Verstappen beat Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to the fifth fastest time, also by less than a tenth of a second.
Haas got both cars through to Q3 for the first time, and was best of the rest behind the top six cars in Q2.
Romain Grosjean set an identical time to Force India’s Sergio Perez in Q3, but ended up eighth fastest, just ahead of the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
Grosjean’s Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez was seventh fastest in Q2, but ended up cut adrift at the bottom of the top 10 in Q3, over half a second slower than Grosjean.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa made only one run each in Q2, and were just edged out of the top 10 by the Force Indias.
Bottas missed the cut by less than a tenth, while Massa was only 0.165s further back in 12th.
Daniil Kvyat felt he did the best he could to put his Toro Rosso 13th on the grid, fractionally faster than team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, who spun at Spoon Curve on his second run in Q2.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda was only 0.004s slower than Sainz in 15th, 0.118s ahead of the leading Renault of Jolyon Palmer.
Jenson Button failed to escape Q1 at Honda’s home circuit, ending up just 0.032s shy of beating McLaren team-mate Alonso to the draw.
Kevin Magnussen was 18th fastest in the second Renault, ahead of Sauber pairing Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr and the two Manors.
Ericsson was slowest of all after the first runs in Q1, but ended up just over a tenth ahead of his team-mate after a puzzled Nasr failed to go faster on his second run.
Esteban Ocon out-qualified Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein for the second race in a row, this time by more than two tenths of a second, feeling he couldn’t have got much more out of his car.
The fact Wehrlein qualified last renders his five-place grid penalty for an illegal gearbox change potentially irrelevant.
JAPANESE GP GRID
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.178s||0.531s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.240s||0.593s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m31.961s||1.314s|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.142s||1.495s|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m32.623s||1.976s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m32.685s||2.038s|
Japanese GP F1 FP3: Nico Rosberg fastest again at Suzuka
Nico Rosberg set the pace in final Formula 1 practice for the Japanese Grand Prix while his Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton failed to complete a qualifying simulation.
Rosberg’s time of 1m32.092s was three tenths quicker than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and ensured the championship leader completed a clean sweep of practice sessions this weekend at Suzuka.
A damp start meant drivers completed their installation laps on the intermediate or wet tyres but it wasn’t long before they made the switch to slicks.
But the time lost early in the session meant drivers left it until the final minutes of the session to do their qualifying simulations which in turn created traffic that forced many to abandon laps.
Rosberg edged Hamilton on the medium tyre runs by just 0.054s and then improved by 1.2s when he fitted the softs and got a clean lap.
Hamilton was not so fortunate, losing time running wide at Degner 2 and then backing off and returning to the pits as there was not enough time to get a second run in.
Sebastian Vettel was third quickest, 0.639s off the pace, a fraction ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Kimi Raikkonen went quicker than Rosberg in the first sector, but was baulked by Renault’s Kevin Magunssen on the approach to Degner 1, ruining his lap. He ended the session fifth.
Felipe Massa completed a late lap on the softs to vault into sixth, ahead of Hamilton, whose time was set on the medium tyres.
Renault showed good promise with Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen achieving exactly the same lap time to finish eighth and ninth respectively, 1.5s adrift.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.
It was a troubled session for Haas with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez having off-track excursions, with the latter spinning at the Esses.
Jenson Button also struggled, finishing 19th quickest, while Carlos Sainz Jr was bottom of the timesheet having completed just three laps.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.394s||0.302s||10|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.784s||0.692s||9|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.646s||1.554s||11|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.921s||1.829s||11|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.037s||1.945s||12|
|22||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m56.323s||24.231s||3|
Kimi Raikkonen struggling with Ferrari despite quick Suzuka times
Kimi Raikkonen feels he has "a lot of lap time" left in his Ferrari after admitting to "fighting with the car" throughout Japanese Grand Prix Formula 1 practice.
Raikkonen finished Friday third quickest Suzuka, just over three tenths of a second behind the two Mercedes and half a second clear of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel behind.
But Raikkonen was far from happy with his car overall, even declaring over the radio that it felt like it had no front wing at one stage as he battled understeer.
"The balance, and the feeling, is not where we want it to be," said Raikkonen.
"I struggled a lot with the understeer and fighting with the car, especially in the first part of the circuit, and it just doesn’t feel nice.
"It got a bit better in the end, so if we get the feeling and the car working as we want there’s a lot of lap time [to be gained]. We can go quite a bit faster.
"It wasn’t a disaster lap-time wise – I’m a bit surprised with the lap time. Hopefully we can work on all the small things and improve the feeling a bit."
Japanese Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg stays on top in practice two
Nico Rosberg again held the upper hand over Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.
After beating Hamilton by two tenths of a second in the first session at Suzuka, the polesitter for the last two races at this track then edged his Mercedes team-mate by just 0.072 seconds in practice two.
There was a minor scare for Rosberg 13 minutes into the session when he pulled out of his garage with wisps of smoke emerging from the back of his Mercedes.
As Rosberg then waited at the end of the pitlane to start off, the smoke became slightly thicker and billowed out for a few seconds, although there was little sign of any trouble thereafter.
Rosberg soon posted the fastest lap at that stage on a set of the medium-compound Pirelli tyres with a 1m33.758s, only to soon be beaten by 0.283s by Hamilton on the hard tyres.
Come the quicker laps on the soft-compound rubber, Rosberg set a 1m32.250s that was to remain unbeaten throughout the session.
Hamilton was quickest in the first sector soon after, but lost out in the second and third to miss out on top spot on the timesheet by a slender margin.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished third quickest, just over three tenths of a second off the pace, but half a second up on team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with both on soft tyres.
In between the pair was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who like Vettel was almost eight tenths adrift of Rosberg’s lead time.
As for Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, winner last time out in Malaysia, the Australian was forced to abort his quick lap on soft tyres due to a virtual safety car period.
That was prompted by Esteban Gutierrez parking his Haas at the side of the track approaching Degner after a turbo issue.
It was the second problem of the day for Haas as Romain Grosjean had suffered yet another brake problem in practice one just days after his retirement in Malaysia when a brake disc exploded.
Ricciardo was left to finish 12th quickest, almost two seconds down, but with his time of 1m34.150s having come on the hard tyres while all in front did a quick lap on softs.
Force India pair Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth and seventh fastest, with three tenths of a second separating the duo.
There was no repeat of the morning’s crashes, but Daniil Kvyat was involved in a high-speed spin coming out of the final corner, avoiding damage as he managed to catch the Toro Rosso in a full 360-degree pirouette.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.061s||0.811s||29|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.570s||1.320s||37|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.873s||1.623s||35|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.086s||1.836s||33|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.150s||1.900s||29|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.305s||2.055s||27|
Japanese GP: Nico Rosberg outshines Lewis Hamilton in practice one
Nico Rosberg beat Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in opening practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Championship leader Rosberg clocked a 1m32.431s to finish 0.215 seconds clear of his Mercedes team-mate, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel eight tenths back in third.
Hamilton and Rosberg were evenly matched in the first and third sectors, with the former losing the time in the middle sector.
Rosberg set the early place with a 1m33.751s, two tenths clear of Hamilton, and maintained that advantage when Mercedes fitted fresh softs later in the session.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, two tenths shy of his Ferrari team-mate, with the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen fifth and sixth respectively and the best of those on mediums rather than softs.
Nico Hulkenberg outpaced Force India team-mate Sergio Perez for seventh with Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas completing the top 10.
Alonso snapped into a spin as he turned into the first part of Spoon, clouting the barrier hard and damaging his McLaren’s rear wing.
He recovered to the pits but ended the session with just 10 laps to his name after Honda found he had damaged the new lightweight engine exhaust.
Romain Grosjean also had an off-track excursion, skating off at the second Degner.
The Frenchman said on team radio "the brake doesn’t brake", having tapped the front wing on the barrier before reversing out and retreating to the pits.
Jolyon Palmer, who scored his first F1 point in Malaysia last week, finished bottom of the timesheet and ended his session early because of an electrical fault.
PRACTICE ONE RESULTS:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.112s||1.681s||23|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.379s||1.948s||26|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.530s||2.099s||28|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.767s||2.336s||30|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m35.446s||3.015s||23|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m35.672s||3.241s||27|
Lewis Hamilton on F1 pole position for Malaysian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton scored a comfortable pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as championship leader Nico Rosberg salvaged a front row start from a troubled end to qualifying.
Hamilton clocked a 1m32.850s best on his first run in Q3, which proved easily good enough for pole, despite Hamilton having to abort his second run in Q3.
His Mercedes team-mate Rosberg eventually qualified second fastest, over four tenths adrift of his title rival.
The points leader was only fifth fastest after the first runs, having run wide at Turn 6, but he rallied later to beat Max Verstappen’s Red Bull to a front row spot by 0.156 seconds, despite another moment at the final corner.
Daniel Ricciardo was only 0.017s slower in the second Red Bull, while Ferrari locked out the third row of the grid, with Sebastian Vettel beating Kimi Raikkonen to fifth by less than half a tenth of a second.
The Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg completed a quartet of row lockouts at the front of the grid by qualifying seventh and eighth, just ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren and Felipe Massa’s Williams.
Button made it through to Q3 with a fine late effort that, along with improvements from the Force India pair, meant the Williams of Valtteri Bottas missed the cut by just 0.039s, as Bottas failed to improve on his second Q2 run.
Romain Grosjean beat Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez to the 12th fastest time by less than a tenth, while Kevin Magnussen did an excellent job to qualify his Renault 14th fastest, having missed most of Friday practice after his car caught fire in the pits in FP1.
A late improvement from Daniil Kvyat meant he beat Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr to 15th on the grid by just 0.005s.
This was the first time Kvyat has out-qualified Sainz since June’s European GP in Azerbaijan.
Jolyon Palmer’s Renault and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda joined the Saubers and Manors in exiting the fray after Q1.
Given Magnussen’s performance Palmer had a realistic shot at making Q2, but his final lap of the session was scrappy and he ended up dropping behind the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr into 19th place.
Esteban Ocon out-qualified Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein for the first time, beating him to the 20th fastest time by 0.136s.
Alonso completed a cursory run on medium tyres in his McLaren, knowing he will start at the back of the grid regardless owing to a 45-place grid penalty for various illegal engine component swaps.
MALAYSIAN GP GRID
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.420s||0.570s|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.467s||0.617s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.319s||1.469s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.489s||1.639s|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m35.369s||2.519s|
|16||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m35.374s||2.524s|
Malaysian GP: Hamilton fastest in final free practice at Sepang
Lewis Hamilton put in a convincing performance to set the fastest time in the final free practice session ahead of the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Mercedes driver Hamilton topped the timesheets at the end of the hour-long session at Sepang with a time of 1m34.434s, almost half a second faster than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Halfway through proceedings, Hamilton was quickest on Pirelli’s medium tyres with a 1m35.612s, seven tenths faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg on the same compound.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who had endured an unusually off-the-pace Friday, then went fastest by 0.151s from Hamilton, albeit on the soft rubber.
Three quarters of the way through the session, Rosberg went fastest with a lap of 1m35.293s on the soft compound.
But the winner of the last three grands prix was swiftly deposed by Hamilton by 0.8s on his qualifying simulation lap on softs, and although Rosberg managed a second hot lap on his own set of softs, he could only get to within 0.619s.
The championship leader was then demoted to third as Verstappen managed to split the Mercedes pair to close to within 0.445s of Hamilton.
Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were fourth and fifth quickest respectively, albeit seven tenths of a second off the pace, with Ricciardo down in sixth, just over a second adrift.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who will start at the back of the grid on Sunday after taking a 45-place grid penalty for various Honda power unit component changes, ended up last and almost seven seconds down.
Alonso has reverted to the power unit used in Belgium, with McLaren eager not to over exert it ahead of a qualifying session in which he will do only one lap to be within 107%.
The final corner, which was criticised by a number of drivers following Friday’s sessions given its reprofiling as on off-camber corner, again proved problematic.
Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez was the first to suffer a major moment, spinning after losing the rear on entry – just falling short of the gravel – forcing Rosberg to back off on what would have been his best lap using the medium Pirellis.
With drivers forced to take an unusual line through the corner as they are unable to hug the apex, Vettel – who had described the turn as "mean" – was the next to spin after over committing slightly, wiping out a marker bollard in the process.
Force India’s Sergio Perez also fell foul of Turn 15, suffering a big lock up that resulted in him ending the session down in 11th.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES:
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m34.434s||–||16|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.879s||0.445s||14|
|3||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m35.053s||0.619s||16|
|4||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m35.150s||0.716s||15|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m35.170s||0.736s||14|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.461s||1.027s||22|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.776s||1.342s||16|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m35.902s||1.468s||17|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m36.222s||1.788s||18|
|10||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m36.227s||1.793s||20|
|11||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.259s||1.825s||15|
|12||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m36.363s||1.929s||11|
|13||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m36.553s||2.119s||14|
|14||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m36.604s||2.170s||20|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m36.687s||2.253s||15|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m36.741s||2.307s||19|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m36.752s||2.318s||20|
|18||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m36.765s||2.331s||19|
|19||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m37.106s||2.672s||18|
|20||Esteban Ocon||Manor Racing MRT||Manor/Mercedes||1m37.961s||3.527s||17|
|21||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing MRT||Manor/Mercedes||1m38.089s||3.655s||13|
|22||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m41.199s||6.765s||15|
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen surprised by pace in Malaysian GP practice
Kimi Raikkonen was surprised with his pace during Formula 1 free practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix after what he felt was a "messy" Friday.
The Finn ended second practice in fourth place, 0.8 seconds behind pacesetter Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes and two tenths down on Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
"We didn’t have a good feeling all day and I’m sure we can regroup tomorrow," Raikkonen told reporters after FP2.
"I’m surprised how decent the lap times were when the feeling was far from what I want.
"It was quite a messy day and not very smooth at all. It was a bit tricky.
"We have to sit down and look things through. The feeling wasn’t good, but the lap time wasn’t disastrous."
Raikkonen complained on the radio of unspecified problems with his car in second practice at Sepang, with Ferrari confirming once he had returned to the garage that it was the front of the car that was being investigated.
Vettel was more positive about his day than Raikkonen, but he was careful to avoid predicting Ferrari can repeat its surprise victory in Malaysia from 2015.
"We had a decent day, testing quite a few things," said the German.
"Our pace didn’t look too bad, at least from what I was told inside the car.
"If the chance is there we have to go for it, but we are realistic and we have seen Mercedes is very strong today on both short and long runs.
"We are pretty happy with our short run, the long run we can improve, getting the car more together.
"It’s right to dream, but at the same time you need to be awake and at the moment we are not strong enough to come here and say we will win.
"But if the chance comes up, similar to last year, then we need to be ready and be there."