Hamilton leads Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in Friday Practice 1 in Malaysia, as engine woes struck Red Bull yet again.

While Hamilton’s fastest lap of 1.34.921 was enough to put him on top, Sebastian Vettel complained of a lack of power under acceleration for the entire session. He was therefore unable to set a proper time, with a best lap of 1.36.043.

Behind Hamilton was Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. He finished 0.185 seconds back, one tenth ahead of Jenson Button in third. Michael Schumacher was happy with fourth, Robert Kubica impressed with fifth, and Mark Webber was able to get sixth.

Force India are still on the pace, with Adrian Sutil leading the charge in seventh, albeit one second off Hamilton’s time. Paul di Resta took Vitantonio Liuzzi’s seat, and did well to get fifteenth. Ferrari focused on long-fuel runs rather than short sprints, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa getting eighth and eleventh respectively. Vettel was just behind Alonso, while Sebastien Buemi topped off the top ten.

Kamui Kobayashi showed slightly better pace than in Bahrain and Australia, with twelfth. His team-mate, Pedro de la Rosa, could only get sixteenth. Still, there were no front wing failures in FP1, which was a nice change of form.

Jaime Alguersuari finished thirteenth while Vitaly Petrov was fourteenth. Behind Di Resta and De la Rosa, the Williams duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello finished seventeenth and eighteenth respectively.

Behind them was the usual scene of the new three teams. This time Jarno Trulli took the honours of being the best of the new boys, with a best time of 1.39.460, which was 4.5 seconds off the pace, but only 1 second behind Barrichello. Fairuz Fauzy did well, finishing 1.3 seconds behind Trulli in 22nd. He went off track twice, once spinning at Turn 12, the other bouncing the car across the kerbs.

The Virgins of Glock and Di Grassi got 20th and 21st respectively, with Glock 0.3 behind Trulli. The HRTs finished off the back row, with Senna leading Chandhok by one tenth. Both drivers were seven seconds behind Lewis Hamilton.

Apart from Fauzy, there were several incidents. Michael Schumacher missed the first hour of track time, as his Mercedes crew fixed a hydraulic problem on his car. Jaime Alguersuari’s run ended early, as his car slowed while on track. Both Pedro de la Rosa and Felipe Massa ran wide and into the gravel at Turn 11.

Times from FP1:

Driver Team Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.34.921 19
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.35.106 0.185 19
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.35.207 0.286 25
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.35.225 0.304 14
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1.35.402 0.481 22
6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.35.479 0.558 22
7 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.35.955 1.034 20
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.35.969 1.048 20
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.36.043 1.122 19
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.36.100 1.179 20
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.36.451 1.53 22
12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.36.503 1.582 28
13 Jamie Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.36.645 1.724 18
14 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.36.712 1.791 9
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1.36.891 1.97 25
16 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.36.899 1.978 24
17 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.37.802 2.881 27
18 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.38.278 3.357 18
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.39.460 4.539 21
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.39.755 4.834 17
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.40.159 5.238 25
22 Fairuz Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth 1.40.721 5.8 19
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.41.832 6.911 27
24 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.41.966 7.045 24
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