Tag Archives: Malaysian GP

Red Bull claim new record with 2.05 second pit stop in Malaysia

Red Bull Racing have officially completed the fastest pit stop ever seen, with a 2.05 second stop being recorded during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Mark Webber made his second pit stop on Lap 19 of the Grand Prix, and remained stationary for just over 2 seconds. This breaks the previous record, held by McLaren at the 2012 German Grand Prix, of 2.31 seconds for Jenson Button.

Amazingly, Red Bull managed to break McLaren’s record five times during the Malaysian Grand Prix, although not each pit stop was faster than the one before. They are as follows:

Driver Lap Time
Mark Webber 19 2.05
Sebastian Vettel 5 2.13
Mark Webber 7 2.13
Mark Webber 31 2.21
Mark Webber 43 2.26

It is almost certain now that some team – probably Red Bull – will breach the 2-second barrier during this season.

Team orders are ugly and unpopular, but they have to be made – and obeyed

The use of team orders by more than one major team this weekend has left a sour taste with many F1 fans. The fanbase is divided – at Red Bull, there are those who feel Sebastian Vettel should have respected the order to hold position, and those who claim that he should race as hard as he could, regardless of the situation.

In the case of the Mercedes team orders, things are more clear-cut. Nico Rosberg passing fuel-saving Lewis Hamilton would have had no adverse affect on the team’s standing in the championship, and it was a more “pure” outcome – if they weren’t teammates, Rosberg would have passed Hamilton easily.

I fully agree with those who argue that Nico shouldn’t have been held up, and that he deserved to take the podium spot. However, the fact that he still obeyed team principal Ross Brawn shows a degree of respect within the team, something that is not apparent at Red Bull.

If another team orders debate arises at Red Bull, neither driver will think twice about ignoring such an instruction from the pit wall. This might be fun to watch, but it raises huge risks for the team, and can destroy any professional friendship between the drivers and/or their bosses. Sebastian and Mark would do well to avoid a repeat of Turkey 2010 in the future.

Whether the fans like it or not, Formula 1 is a team sport at heart, and the team should always come first. Ferrari understand this, having ironed out any hope of a rivalry between Alonso and Massa in recent years. Meanwhile, the current constructors’ champions are faced with dealing with two ego-fuelled rebels, who will now lock horns on-track at the first opportunity. It doesn’t take a genius to calculate that Ferrari’s system is more consistent and safe.

Vettel’s ignoring of his team’s instructions has unraveled any remaining friendliness between himself and Webber, that much is certain. Compare this to Rosberg’s choice, which has gained him respect within the team, and by Hamilton. If such an issue arises again, both drivers should be able to deal with it in a professional manner which benefits the team. Red Bull have no hope of this.

This isn’t about adrenaline-fueled glory runs, or brazen chest-bashing. It’s about understanding that the team is more important than the individual driver, and how sacrifices should be made for long-term benefits. If a three-time world champion can’t comprehend this, the Red Bull have a serious problem on their hands.

Vettel backstabs Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has won the Malaysian Grand Prix, but the fallout from today’s events will surely stain what was an impressive 1-2 victory for the Red Bull team.

Mark Webber led much of the race, but was instructed to dial down his engine in the final stint to save fuel and tyres. Vettel, who was close behind throughout the race, was instructed to hold position, but instead locked horns with his Red Bull teammate, and eventually came out victorious.

The podium ceremony was awkward to say the least, with Webber angrily quipping “Multi 21, Seb?” to his teammate beforehand. Mark was also seen gesticulating at Sebastian on-track during their battle.

Mercedes were embroiled in a similar battle, but both drivers decided to respect the team orders. Lewis Hamilton finished 3rd, and was struggling with low fuel with a few laps to go, but Nico Rosberg was blocked from battling his teammate. While clearly unhappy, the two drivers respected the situation to seal a good result for the Mercedes team.

Ferrari failed to capitalise on their excellent grid spots. Fernando Alonso tapped Vettel’s car on the opening lap, then crashed out a lap later after his front wing lodged under the nose during braking. Felipe Massa slipped back, but steadily fought his way back up to 5th position by the end.

Jenson Button was set to complete a great 5th place for McLaren, but a disastrous pit stop resulted in his front right wheel coming loose, and he dropped all the way down to 14th. Sergio Perez was forced to pit in the final laps, but still scraped a 9th-placed finish.

This article will be updated.

Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying: Vettel eases to pole, Raikkonen penalised

Sebastian Vettel has taken a comfortable pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, in tricky conditions where rain fell halfway through the session.

Championship leader Kimi Raikkonen initially qualified 7th, but received a 3-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Rosberg. The Ferraris will start 2nd and 3rd, with Felipe Massa out-qualifying Fernando Alonso for the fourth race in a row.

Q1

Vettel came within almost 0.2 seconds of being knocked out of Q1. Himself, along with Mark Webber, showed little to no pace throughout the first part of qualifying, with the Australian only lying 11th, and Sebastian 15th.

There was an interesting split between drivers who were attempting to use the medium tyres to gain grid position, and those who were conserving them for the race. Adrian Sutil was one of the few drivers pushing hard in Q1, setting a 1:36.809 to finish fastest.

Jules Bianchi produced another impressive qualifying performance, coming within 0.5 seconds of getting into Q2. He beat teammate Max Chilton by over 1.2 seconds.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

17) Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:38.157

18) Valtteri Bottas – 1:38.207

19) Jules Bianchi – 1:38.434

20) Charles Pic – 1:39.314

21) Max Chilton – 1:39.672

22) Giedo van der Garde – 1:39.932

Q2

Paul di Resta was the first driver to go out on track, and was the first to pit – which was a mistake.

Rain fell about halfway through Q2, rendering half of the track unusable on slicks, and the other half bone dry. Intermediates were required, and Di Resta wasn’t able to set a fast time because of this. Despite this, he valiantly tried to go out again, but spun twice in the process.

Once again, the Red Bulls struggled, with Vettel only getting into Q3 by the skin of his teeth. Romain Grosjean was eliminated in Q2, as it emerged this weekend that the Frenchman is not receiving parts that are going onto teammate Raikkonen’s car.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Romain Grosjean – 1:37.636

12) Nico Hulkenberg – 1:38.125

13) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:38.822

14) Esteban Gutierrez – 1:39.221

15) Paul di Resta – 1:44.509

16) Pastor Maldonado – N/A

Q3

With the rain still falling, Q3 was busy from the offset, as teams feared the conditions would get worse the longer they waited.

This wasn’t the case though, and with several minutes to go, the track had dried to the point where drivers began to consider the slick tyres. Vettel pitted, but took on a fresh set of intermediates. His teammate stayed out, which backfired later on.

Webber briefly went fastest, but was quickly beaten by Lewis Hamilton, and then Fernando Alonso. There wasn’t enough time for him to get a new set of inters, and his current set were too worn for him to set another lap, so he fell to 5th place.

Vettel, meanwhile, went almost a second faster by going out on track at the right time. Raikkonen and Hamilton had one last chance to unseat the Red Bull, but couldn’t improve on their previous times. Felipe Massa then pipped his teammate to 2nd place, for the 4th race in a row.

Raikkonen finished the session 7th, but was demoted to 10th after he was judged to have held up Nico Rosberg near the end of Q3.

Times from Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:49.674

2) Felipe Massa – 1:50.587

3) Fernando Alonso – 1:50.727

4) Lewis Hamilton – 1:51.699

5) Mark Webber – 1:52.244

6) Nico Rosberg – 1:52.519

7) Jenson Button – 1:53.175

8) Adrian Sutil – 1:53.439

9) Sergio Perez – 1:54.136

10) Kimi Raikkonen (+3) – 1:52.970

 

 

Malaysian Grand Prix practice: Rain threatens proceedings as Raikkonen continues to lead

Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets for today’s practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix, but the local weather is already causing a storm. After FP2 was disrupted by heavy rain, there are fears that the local thunderstorms may hit the circuit during tomorrow’s qualifying and the race.

Regardless, the field is tightly bunched at the front at the moment. Here’s what happened today:

First practice

It was another slow start to this weekend’s racing, as it took until the half hour mark for anyone to set a lap time.

Australian GP race winner Kimi Raikkonen had a delayed start to his weekend – a KERS fault meant that he was stuck in the pits longer than anyone else. He eventually finished the session 0.06 seconds off the leader.

The Red Bulls continued to demonstrate their excellent one-lap pace, with both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel leading FP1 at certain points. It was Webber who was to set the fastest time, a 1:36.935 leaving him over a tenth of a second ahead of his teammate.

Lap times dropped off towards the end of the session, as it became clear that the hard tyres were only lasting around 20 laps.

The only major drama was when Esteban Gutierrez spun off, carrying too much speed into Turn 14.

Pos  Driver               Team                  Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1:36.935            15
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1:37.003  + 0.068s  15
 3.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1:37.104  + 0.169s  21
 4.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1:37.319  + 0.384s  13
 5.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1:37.588  + 0.653s  19
 6.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1:37.769  + 0.834s  17
 7.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1:37.771  + 0.836s  15
 8.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1:37.773  + 0.838s  15
 9.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1:37.840  + 0.905s  18
10.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1:37.915  + 0.980s  17
11.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1:38.173  + 1.238s  16
12.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1:38.673  + 1.738s  16
13.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1:38.830  + 1.895s  17
14.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1:39.054  + 2.119s  17
15.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1:39.204  + 2.269s  16
16.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1:39.208  + 2.273s  19
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:39.284  + 2.349s  17
18.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:39.567  + 2.632s  16
19.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1:40.728  + 3.793s  17
20.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1:40.996  + 4.061s  14
21.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1:41.163  + 4.228s  18
22.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1:41.513  + 4.578s  14

Second practice

It was Raikkonen who set the fastest time in FP2 on the medium tyres, but by only 0.4 seconds compared to Webber’s time in FP1.

Rain was expected from the off, so many drivers took to the track immediately in order to maximise running. As expected, the rain fell early on, and it increased in strength at around the halfway mark. A spin by Nico Hulkenberg on his in lap demonstrated how treacherous the conditions were.

Drivers soon tip-toed out onto the track soon after, but spins marred several drivers’ sessions. Sergio Perez, Giedo van der Garde and Romain Grosjean all had off-track excursions on the intermediate tyres.

The track dried out sufficiently for slicks with 10 minutes to go, but nobody was able to improve on Raikkonen’s earlier time. Sebastian Vettel was within 0.016 seconds of the Lotus, with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso 3rd and 4th.

The McLarens showed no signs of improvement from Australia, finishing Friday 11th and 12th. Further back, Jules Bianchi was able to set a lap 0.152 seconds faster than the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

Pos Driver                Team                    Time       Gap      Laps
 1. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault           1:36.569            28
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1:36.588  + 0.019s  27
 3. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1:36.661  + 0.092s  33
 4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1:36.985  + 0.416s  23
 5. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1:37.026  + 0.457s  29
 6. Romain Grosjean       Lotus Renault           1:37.206  + 0.637s  26
 7. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1:37.448  + 0.879s  32
 8. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1:37.571  + 1.002s  30
 9. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                1:37.574  + 1.005s  32
10. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes    1:37.788  + 1.219s  10
11. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes        1:37.838  + 1.269s  21
12. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1:37.865  + 1.296s  29
13. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari          1:38.068  + 1.499s  31
14. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          1:38.645  + 2.076s  23
15. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:38.738  + 2.169s  31
16. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault        1:38.801  + 2.232s  27
17. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:38.904  + 2.335s  31
18. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth       1:39.508  + 2.939s  30
19. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault        1:39.660  + 3.091s  28
20. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault        1:40.757  + 4.188s  29
21. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault        1:40.768  + 4.199s  32
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth       1:41.438  + 4.869s  23

Malaysian Grand Prix analysis: Victories for the underdogs

The Malaysian Grand Prix will go down as a thrilling and unforgettable race. Not just because of the shuffled order, or the heavy rain showers, but because of the fierce and spirited drives that put so many surprise faces on top. A brilliant drive from Sergio Perez, an unrelenting charge from Fernando Alonso, and a quiet ascent to 6th for Bruno Senna was what made this race special.

Perez – the man of the moment

Few will argue that Sergio Perez’s drive was anything but spectacular. A good strategy call at the start put him up to 3rd, and he held the position under treacherous conditions.

Once the track dried out, he demonstrated Button-like prowess on the damp track, eating into Alonso’s lead relentlessly. A poor final pit stop, as well as a slip near the end, cost him the victory, but he has still made his point.

It is the first time since 1971 that a Mexican driver has put a foot on the podium – the last time was for Pedro Rodriguez, 19 years before Sergio was even born.

With such a great performance, the top teams have surely taken a good look at the young Sauber driver. Which leads us to…

Massa bashing: Round 2

Another atrocious drive from Felipe Massa, another reason for Ferrari to ditch the beleaguered driver. And with Sergio Perez seemingly knocking on the door, the Brazilian surely won’t be around for too long.

As his teammate crossed the line to take the chequered flag, Massa was 5 seconds away from being lapped. He now sits 19th in the driver’s championship, behind the Marussias, while Alonso leads the title hunt. There’s no denying that the gap between the two is growing immeasurably long.

The Ferrari F2012 is a handful, but it deserves to be finishing higher than 15th place. I make no secret of my disliking of Massa, and his dismal performances only make this view worse.

Another side of Sebastian Vettel?

As the Red Bull team slip behind McLaren, we are now granted the opportunity to see how Vettel handles with not having the fastest car on the grid. Unfortunately, he hasn’t gotten off to the best start.

His clip into Narain Karthikeyan may seem insignificant, but it shows a very poor attitude from the German driver. He seemed to move across Narain’s path, then showed obscene gestures when his tyre blew as a result.

Afterwards, he referred to him as a “cucumber”, which is just about the oddest insult I’ve heard in a long time. It appears as if he hasn’t learned from Turkey 2010, when he refused to take responsibility for clashing with Mark Webber.

Granted, he’s not in the position he wants to be, but this is no excuse for his behaviour. A true driver’s colours are shown when he’s dealt a bad hand – just look at Fernando Alonso. Vettel appears rattled, and will need to cap his temper if he wants to claw his way back to the top.

Points standings after Malaysian Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Fernando Alonso 35
2 Lewis Hamilton 30
3 Jenson Button  25
4 Mark Webber  24
5 Sergio Perez  22
6 Sebastian Vettel 18
7 Kimi Raikkonen  16
8 Bruno Senna  8
9 Kamui Kobayashi 8
10 Paul di Resta  7
11 Jean-Eric Vergne  4
12 Daniel Ricciardo  2
13 Nico Hulkenberg  2
14 Michael Schumacher  1
15 Nico Rosberg  0
16 Pastor Maldonado  0
17 Timo Glock  0
18 Charles Pic  0
19 Felipe Massa  0
20 Vitaly Petrov  0
21 Heikki Kovalainen  0
22 Narain Karthikeyan 0
23 Pedro de la Rosa 0
24 Romain Grosjean 0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 McLaren-Mercedes 55
2 Red Bull-Renault 42
3 Ferrari 35
4 Sauber 30
5 Lotus-Renault 16
6 Force India-Mercedes 9
7 Williams-Renault 8
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 6
9 Mercedes GP 1
10 Marussia-Cosworth 0
11 Caterham-Renault 0
12 HRT-Cosworth 0

Alonso wins while Perez shines in Malaysia

Hamilton fends off Button

Hamilton fends off Button

Fernando Alonso has won the Malaysian Grand Prix, ahead of a brilliant Sergio Perez, who drove his heart out and almost won the race. Lewis Hamilton again lost the lead and finished 3rd, while it was another poor show from Mercedes. Here is what happened:

Light rain 10 minutes before the start of the race forced all the cars to switch to the intermediate tyres. At the start, Lewis Hamilton held the lead against his teammate, while Romain Grosjean jumped into 3rd. Michael Schumacher spun at Turn 3, and fell to the back of the grid.

As the rain grew in intensity, Sergio Perez, Timo Glock and Felipe Massa opted to stop for extreme wets. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso stopped on Lap 5 for the same tyres. Button’s passing of Schumacher on the wets prompted everyone else to make the change on Lap 6.

The safety car was out, but the red flag is soon thrown

The safety car was out, but the red flag is soon thrown

The different strategies left Perez 3rd, while Button harassed Hamilton for the lead. However, the rain had quickly become too heavy to continue, and the safety car was deployed on Lap 7. As lightning struck race control and the media centre, knocking out the power, there was some confusion about an accidental red flag.

Once it became clear that the monsoon conditions weren’t ending any time soon, the red flag was thrown. The teams bizarrely brought gazebos out on the pit straight, as the rain shower moved away.

After more than half an hour, the race was restarted under the safety car. Bernd Maylander peeled away on Lap 13, and the racing resumed. Several cars dived into the pits, while Sergio Perez moved into 2nd. Sebastian Vettel made a move on his teammate, but Webber used his superior traction to retake 5th place.

Hamilton stopped a lap later, but a slow pit stop dropped him behind his teammate. Button’s joy didn’t last long though, as he hit the back of Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT, breaking his front wing. He pitted for repairs, while Sergio Perez stopped for inters, leaving Fernando Alonso in charge of the race.

Daniel Ricciardo put an excellent move on Bruno Senna for 14th place, taking the Williams around the outside of Turn 5. DRS was enabled on Lap 21, allowing the battle for 5th place battle between Rosberg, Vettel and Raikkonen to take an extra twist.

Vettel powered past Nico Rosberg for 4th, and was soon followed by Kimi Raikkonen. Mark Webber didn’t need DRS to get past, slicing past Rosberg at Turn 6.

Felipe Massa was ordered to catch the Mercedes, but slipped wide instead, allowing Paul di Resta through for 7th. After he was swiftly passed by Jean-Eric Vergne Bruno Senna, he pitted for a new set of intermediates.

Perez gets within inches of Alonso

Perez gets within inches of Alonso

Kamui Kobayashi passed Michael Schumacher around the outside of Turn 5, while Jenson Button passed Felipe Massa for 16th position.

The focus soon switched to the front, as Sergio Perez began to reel in Alonso at incredible rates. The new rain shower failed to materialise, and the frontrunners’ worn inters soon began to come into the equation. Daniel Ricciardo was the first to try on the slick tyres, and instantly set fastest sectors.

This prompted a mad dash for the pit lane. Alonso pitted on Lap 41, while Perez stayed out. He stopped the next lap, but the damage had been done, as Fernando now led by 7 seconds.

Alonso and Perez congradulate each other after a thrilling battle

Alonso and Perez congradulate each other after a thrilling battle

Despite this, the Mexican driver continued to push, and astonishingly began to reel in the Ferrari once again. With 10 laps to go, the Sauber was only 3 seconds behind. Further back , Sebastian Vettel received a puncture, and dropped down the field.

But, the focus was on Perez. As he closed on Alonso, he made a slip at Turn 14, and dropped back by several seconds. He attempted to repair the damage, but there was not enough time left.

Fernando Alonso crossed the line first to win the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Perez chasing him past the line. Lewis Hamilton hung on to third place, with Mark Webber ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Bruno Senna impressed with 6th, while Michael Schumacher inherited a point on the second last lap after Pastor Maldonado’s retirement.

Hamilton leads McLaren lockout in Malaysia qualifying

Lewis Hamilton ensured a 100% record so far in 2012, taking pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Teammate Jenson Button was a tenth behind in 2nd, while everyone back to 8th was separated by 0.4 seconds.

Michael Schumacher went 3rd, while Sebastian Vettel has chosen a different strategy for tomorrow’s race. Here is what happened:

Q1

Jean-Eric Vergne was knocked out of Q1

Jean-Eric Vergne was knocked out of Q1

The two Mercedes drivers set the early pace with mid-1:37  times. They were soon split by Jenson Button, with Lewis Hamilton 4th.

Felipe Massa’s initial pace was very poor, leaving him only 18th. While he stayed out on the options, his teammate decided to use primes for Q1. Massa eventually improved to move out of the drop zone.

Mark Webber soon smashed the best time, setting a 1:37.1.

Within the last few minutes, the midfield began to move past Massa again, but not by enough. Jean-Eric Vergne aborted several laps, and failed to progress to Q2.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:39.077

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:39.306

20) Vitaly Petrov – 1:39.567

21) Timo Glock – 1:49.903

22) Charles Pic – 1:41.250

23) Pedro de la Rosa – 1:42.914

24) Narain Karthikeyan – 1:43.655

Q2

Massa once again failed to progress to Q2

Massa once again failed to progress to Q2

Sergio Perez was the first car out of the pits for the start of Q2. He set his benchmark time of 1:39.043.

Pastor Maldonado went massively wide at Turn 11, almost hitting the barriers. Kimi Raikkonen went on top with an impressive 1:37.715.

Teammate Romain Grosjean made a mistake on his lap, but still went 4th, setting a sector best as well.

Felipe Massa went 9th, but Fernando Alonso quickly beat that, going 6th. Maladonado and Perez jumped into the top 10, pushing Massa out of Q2. The Mercedes drivers left it until their final laps to move back into the top 10, going 3rd and 4th.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Pastor Maldonado – 1:37.589

12) Felipe Massa – 1:37.731

13) Bruno Senna – 1:37.841

14) Paul di Resta – 1:37.877

15) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:37.883

16) Nico Hulkenberg – 1:37.890

17) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:38.069

Q3

Schumacher appeared in the top 3, alongside the two McLarens

Schumacher appeared in the top 3, alongside the two McLarens

Kimi Raikkonen was the first out of the pits, setting a 1:36.833 after a scrappy lap. Jenson Button and then Lewis Hamilton beat that time, setting a 1:36.219.

Sebastian Vettel’s time was a second off Hamilton’s, though he set his time on primes. Nico Rosberg made a mistake on his lap, going 3rd. Teammate Michael Schumacher moved up to 2nd.

Fernando Alonso took 9th, while Mark Webber jumped up to 4th. Sebastian Vettel moved up to 6th, while Kimi Raikkonen could only go 5th. Rosberg did not set a final lap, and was a disappointing 8th.

Jenson Button was within a tenth of a second of Hamilton, ensuring another McLaren lockout of the front row.

Hamilton stays on top in Malaysian second practice

Hamilton stayed on top in second practice

Hamilton stayed on top in second practice

Lewis Hamilton made his intentions clear for this weekend, by topping second practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher pipped Jenson Button to second place by 0.002 seconds. Nico Rosberg was 4th, meaning Mercedes-powered cars dominated the top 4 in the timesheets.

Daniel Ricciardo impressed with a 5th-placed finish. Sebastian Vettel was 10th, and complained that “The car is all over the place. Poor balance.”

Paul di Resta spun twice during the session, as well as Michael Schumacher and both HRT drivers.

Track temperatures reached up to 45C, with a constant threat of rain that never materialised. These high temperatures resulted in very high levels of tyre wear, as drivers’ times began to slip after only 6 laps.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:38.172           28
 2.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:38.533  +0.361   34
 3.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:38.535  +0.363   29
 4.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:38.696  +0.524   34
 5.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:38.853  +0.681   33
 6.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:38.891  +0.719   27
 7.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:39.133  +0.961   29
 8.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:39.297  +1.125   33
 9.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:39.311  +1.139   22
10.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:39.402  +1.230   25
11.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:39.444  +1.272   35
12.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:39.464  +1.292   26
13.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:39.625  +1.453   20
14.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:39.687  +1.515   16
15.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1:39.696  +1.524   29
16.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:40.271  +2.099   27
17.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:40.678  +2.506   34
18.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:40.947  +2.775   33
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:41.464  +3.292   25
20.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:41.681  +3.509   20
21.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:42.594  +4.422   18
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:42.874  +4.702   24
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:43.658  +5.486   18
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:43.283  +5.561   22


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