There were top ten times in Malaysian practice for Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg while Jean-Eric Vergne missed out in 11th place...
Jenson Button: "We're finding it tough out there today - especially in the heat. We're not as strong as we'd like to be in high-speed corners - and, when you have downforce issues, they're further amplified by the hot weather. So our long runs were tricky - in terms of both tyre degradation and outright pace. We're now going through the data, but the upgrades we brought here seem to be giving us something - so that's encouraging - but there's a lot of work still to be done. I'm sure people are getting excited about individual lap-times, but they don't count for too much around here because you can usually overtake. It's the long runs that you need to analyse, and that's where we're finding it a bit more difficult."
Kevin Magnussen: "I've never driven a car in these sorts of temperatures - so I learned a lot today. As I say, the track temperatures are so hot here that the tyres are really suffering - but it's the same for everyone, so we need to try and get on top of things before tomorrow's sessions. I'm going to try and set the car up in order to protect the rears. There's always something you can improve, and we've currently got a lot to think about and a lot of data to sift through tonight. For me, overheating the rears is my biggest problem - the tyres are behaving very differently from how they did in Australia - so that'll be my focus. Still, I'm convinced we can make some useful changes to the car overnight."
Nico Hulkenberg: "I think we can be satisfied with what we learned today. We worked through the programme and there were no big issues on my side. Of course, the hot weather here means conditions are tough and we found that tyre management during the long run was quite challenging. It's even more difficult this year because there is more wheelspin with these engines and the rear degradation is quite high. We collected the usual data for the tyres and the set-up, and I think there is still room for improvement. I need some more grip and we need to tweak the balance before final practice"
Sergio Perez: "Not an easy day because I missed most of the morning session and that has limited my running on the hard compound. In the afternoon we tried to improve the car, as well as learning about the tyres, but I still feel we need to make a big step tonight to be ready for qualifying. The tyre performance gap between the hard and the medium compound is not that big, but we suffered with high degradation on both tyres."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "A really good day in general. I think we have done a nearly perfect Friday and I'm really happy with the performance of the car. We still have to find the best solution for a few little issues that can definitely make us quicker. We look quite strong so far and working hard tonight I'm sure we will have a good car for tomorrow and maybe fight again for Q3. It's a happy day."
Daniil Kvyat: "Even though I have raced at Sepang before in a junior formula, I have to say this was definitely one of the hottest days I have experienced, but I can't say I found it a problem to deal with. Today, we had a busy programme, looking at improving performance, doing some long runs and also trying the Medium and Hard tyres for the first time at a race weekend. I'm not completely satisfied yet with the set-up of the car. So tonight we'll look at all the data with the engineers with the aim of getting as much performance as possible out of our package for the rest of the weekend."
Adrian Sutil: "In comparison to Melbourne, we made a few steps forward. The things we had on our plan partly worked out. However, the car is difficult to control and it is not easy to drive. We have a lot work ahead of us. We made steps in the right direction and it is working better than in Melbourne."
Esteban Gutierrez: "I think it was a positive day. We managed to have no problems during the entire day. From that point of view, it is positive. Besides that, we managed to do our planned programme with both cars, so we collected interesting information which we can use to make the right decisions for tomorrow. In comparison to Melbourne, we made a step forward as the braking stability is better. We still have further things to develop and to improve. We have to evaluate the high fuel and find the best compromise for the race."
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