2015 MALAYSIAN GP: MERCEDES AMG FASTEST, FERRARI SECOND BEST

Lewis Hamilton shrugged off the engine issues that saw him grind to a halt after just four laps in first practice to go quickest in the afternoon session, finishing just under four tenths ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, repeated his second place from the morning session.

After his morning woes Mercedes gout Hamilton back on track 40 minutes into the second session. He jumped to sixth fastest with his first flying lap but more problems struck when he lost telemetry a problem that had also affected his first outing in the morning session. He rejoined the action with 20 minutes left on the clock and soon went fastest with a time of 1:39,.790 set on medium tyres. That put him ahead of Raikkonen and also Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who after leading the morning session dropped back in the afternoon on the medium tyres runs after running quickest early in FP2 on the hard tyres. He finished the session 0.428s behind his team-mate.

Daniil Kvyat, who had spent the first part of the session garage-bound, impressed with the afternoon’s fourth fastest run but the good feeling at Red Bull resulting from his quali sim was short-lived as the Russian encountered engine problems. It was a similarly difficult afternoon for team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who complained of problems with his car and then spent a lengthy period in the garage. He finished the session in 10th place.

Behind Kvyat came the Williams cars of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with Sebastian Vettel seventh. The Ferrari man was one a number of drivers to be caught out by lack of grip in the extremely hot conditions and he spun on his qualifying simulation. He then chose not to complete another run on the medium tyre and for the rest of the session focused on longer runs.

Eighth place went Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, the Dutch teenager finishing 1.4s behind Hamilton but over a second faster than team-mate Carlos Sainz, who had eclipsed the youngster in the morning session. Ninth ahead of Ricciardo in FP2 was Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson. Lotus’ Romain Grosjean reported a power loss during the session and eventually was sidelined 30 minutes before the end of the day’s running. He completed just seven laps.

FIRST FREE PRACTICE
 P.     DRIVER            TEAM          TIME         GAP   LAPS
 1. Nico Rosberg        Mercedes AMG   1:40.124             20
 2. Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari        1:40.497   +  0.373  17
 3. Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari        1:40.985   +  0.861  13
 4. Romain Grosjean     Lotus          1:41.543   +  1.419  14
 5. Carlos Sainz        Toro Rosso     1:41.596   +  1.472  26
 6. Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull       1:41.787   +  1.663  15
 7. Max Verstappen      Toro Rosso     1:41.803   +  1.679  23
 8. Valtteri Bottas     Williams       1:41.882   +  1.758  23
 9. Daniil Kvyat        Red Bull       1:42.055   +  1.931  18
10. Marcus Ericsson     Sauber         1:42.064   +  1.940  16
11. Felipe Massa        Williams       1:42.103   +  1.979  23
12. Pastor Maldonado    Lotus          1:42.567   +  2.443  19
13. Raffaele Marciello  Sauber         1:42.621   +  2.497  13
14. Fernando Alonso     McLaren        1:42.885   +  2.761  20
15. Nico Hulkenberg     Force India    1:42.893   +  2.769  13
16. Sergio Perez        Force India    1:43.054   +  2.930  15
17. Jenson Button       McLaren        1:43.100   +  2.976  19
18. Will Stevens        Marussia       1:46.686   +  6.562   8
19. Roberto Merhi       Marussia       1:47.683   +  7.559   8
20. Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes AMG   no time               4
* 2014 Fastest time: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG - 1:40.691
SECOND FREE PRACTICE
 P.     DRIVER            TEAM          TIME         GAP   LAPS
 1. Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes AMG   1m39.790             16

 2. Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari        1m40.163   +  0.373  29
 3. Nico Rosberg        Mercedes AMG   1m40.218   +  0.428  26
 4. Daniil Kvyat        Red Bull       1m40.346   +  0.556  17
 5. Valtteri Bottas     Williams       1m40.450   +  0.660  31
 6. Felipe Massa        Williams       1m40.560   +  0.770  27
 7. Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari        1m40.652   +  0.862  29
 8. Max Verstappen      Toro Rosso     1m41.220   +  1.430  30
 9. Marcus Ericsson     Sauber         1m41.261   +  1.471  30
10. Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull       1m41.799   +  2.009   8
11. Pastor Maldonado    Lotus          1m41.877   +  2.087  15
12. Felipe Nasr         Sauber         1m41.988   +  2.198  30
13. Sergio Perez        Force India    1m42.242   +  2.452  24
14. Carlos Sainz        Toro Rosso     1m42.291   +  2.501  31
15. Nico Hulkenberg     Force India    1m42.330   +  2.540  28
16. Fernando Alonso     McLaren        1m42.506   +  2.716  25
17. Jenson Button       McLaren        1m42.637   +  2.847  24
18. Romain Grosjean     Lotus          1m42.948   +  3.158   7
19. Will Stevens        Marussia       1m45.704   +  5.914  12
20. Roberto Merhi       Marussia       1m47.229   +  7.439   6
* 2014 Fastest time: Nico Rosberg - Mercedes AMG - 1:39.909