2014 MALAYSIA GP: MERCEDES AHEAD, OTHERS CLOSING GAP

Mercedes AMG again with fastest time on friday practices!!!
The first two free practice sessions in Malaysia were run in consistent conditions on a dry track and with ambient temperatures as high as 37 degrees Celsius. Generally high reliability enabled most teams to familiarise themselves with Pirelli's hard and medium tyres and to do race-simulation running. As in Australia, Mercedes led the way, but with a seemingly much reduced advantage.

Heavy tyre degradation caused by the searing Sepang temperatures has limited Mercedes’ advantage over their Formula 1 rivals at the Malaysian Grand Prix, according to championship leader Nico Rosberg.

Jenson Button admits he is surprised by McLaren s lack of pace during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, saying the car is suffering in high-speed corners, but beleive McLaren can catch current F1 pacesetter Mercedes AMG as long as it maintains an aggressive development push.

Renault insists customer status is not hurting the Lotus and Caterham F1 teams, as problems with the reliability of their cars continued in Malaysia on Friday, especially E22.

Felipe Massa hopes to fight with Mercedes in the Malaysian Grand Prix but admits it won t be easy for Williams as the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull look strong:
"We completed our run plan and we had no technical issues, so today was a good opportunity to learn more about the performance of the car. It was pretty hot so we could also understand more about how the tyres are working in high temperatures. We managed to do long runs on different types of tyre which has been very useful and the car was performing solidly. There is still more performance to unlock from the car, so we need to work hard tonight analysing the data we have to make some improvements for qualifying and the race."
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says fuel-flow sensors must be improved and the FIA needs a "better solution and has acknowledged that the reigning champions could face a repeat of their fate in Australia due to another issue with a fuel flow rate sensor during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix. But FIA has ruled out removing the fuel flow regulations, arguing it would lead to "very dangerous" closing speeds between cars. Sebastian Vettel, whose Red Bull set its fastest time on his second flying lap on medium rubber, suggests the RB10 is proving to be kind on its tyres in the heat of Malaysia.
"I think we had a good day, obviously Friday timings are not the most important thing in the world but it’s good to be up there and in range of the top guys. I think we had a decent day, not a completely smooth day for both of us, there are still some things to solve on the software side and the programming, but that’s the way it is. I think we have to learn a lot but all in all, I’m quite happy."
FIRST FREE PRACTICE
 P.     DRIVER            TEAM           TIME        GAP    LAPS 
 1. Luis Hamilton       Merecdes AMG   1:40.691              19
 2. Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari        1:40.843   +  0.152   20
 3. Nico Rosberg        Mercedes AMG   1:41.028   +  0.337   19
 4. Jenson Button       McLaren        1:41.111   +  0.420   20
 5. Kevin Magnussen     McLaren        1:41.274   +  0.583   18
 6. Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso     1:41.402   +  0.711   15
 7. Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull       1:41.523   +  0.832    9
 8. Nico Hulkenberg     Force India    1:41.642   +  0.951   19
 9. Felipe Massa        Williams       1:41.686   +  0.995   23
10. Valtteri Bottas     Williams       1:41.830   +  1.139   22
11. Fernando Alonso     Ferrari        1:41.923   +  1.232   14
12. Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull       1:42.117   +  1.426   20
13. Adrian Sutil        Sauber         1:42.365   +  1.674   21
14. Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso     1:42.869   +  2.178   21
15. Esteban Gutierrez   Sauber         1:42.904   +  2.213   23
16. Jules Bianchi       Marussia       1:43.825   +  3.134   18
17. Marcus Ericsson     Caterham       1:45.775   +  5.084   24
18. Max Chilton         Marussia       1:46.911   +  6.220   10
19. Kamui Kobayashi     Caterham       1:51.180   + 10.489    5
20. Sergio Perez        Force India    no time set            2
21. Pastor Maldonado    Lotus          no time set            2
22. Romain Grosjean     Lotus          no time set            4
SECOND FREE PRACTICE
 P.     DRIVER            TEAM           TIME         GAP   LAPS 
 1. Nico Rosberg        Mercedes AMG   1:39.909              30
 2. Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari        1:39.944   +  0.035   30
 3. Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull       1:39.970   +  0.061   30
 4. Luis Hamilton       Merecdes AMG   1:40.051   +  0.142   32
 5. Fernando Alonso     Ferrari        1:40.103   +  0.194   29
 6. Felipe Massa        Williams       1:40.112   +  0.203   34
 7. Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull       1:40.276   +  0.367   29
 8. Jenson Button       McLaren        1:40.628   +  0.719   28
 9. Valtteri Bottas     Williams       1:40.638   +  0.729   35
10. Nico Hulkenberg     Force India    1:40.691   +  0.782   34
11. Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso     1:40.777   +  0.868   33
12. Kevin Magnussen     McLaren        1:41.014   +  1.105   20
13. Adrian Sutil        Sauber         1:41.257   +  1.348   28
14. Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso     1:41.325   +  1.416   32
15. Esteban Gutierrez   Sauber         1:41.407   +  1.498   34
16. Sergio Perez        Force India    1:41.671   +  1.762   25
17. Romain Grosjean     Lotus          1:42.531   +  2.622   14
18. Max Chilton         Marussia       1:43.638   +  3.729   20
19. Jules Bianchi       Marussia       1:43.752   +  3.843   29
20. Marcus Ericsson     Caterham       1:45.703   +  5.794   31
21. Kamui Kobayashi     Caterham       no time set            0
22. Pastor Maldonado    Lotus          no time set            0