FP1: Rosberg tops fiery first practice

Date published: September 30 2016

Nico Rosberg fired the opening salvo for the Malaysian Grand Prix as he went quickest in FP1, a session that was red flagged when Kevin Magnussen’s RS16 caught fire.

The red flags were out in FP1 at the Sepang circuit even before there was a single time on the board as Magnussen’s Renault burst into flames in the pit lane.

As the car was pushed back after his installation lap, fuel appeared to leak out of the top of the engine cover and ignited.

Magnussen’s mechanics were quickly on hand with fire extinguishers, covering the car in white foam and later draining the fuel before pushing it back into the garage.

The session was red flagged for 15 minutes to allow a clean-up operation.

Back underway Rosberg went quickest on the soft tyres with a 1:35.227.

That put him 0.494s up on his team-mate Lewis Hamilton who set his best time on the medium tyres after flat-spotting his softs with a big lock-up.

Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were next in line for Ferrari with the duo 1.088 and 1.104s off the pace on the soft tyres.

The only other driver inside the top ten to run the softs was Fernando Alonso. The McLaren driver, who was running Honda’s latest engine update, posted a 1:36.510.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth ahead of Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg while Sergio Perez and Jenson Button completed the top ten.

Times
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’35.227 25 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’35.721 +0.494 25 laps
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’36.315  +1.088 16 laps
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’36.331 +1.104 18 laps
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1’36.510 +1.283 18 laps
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’36.753 +1.526 27 laps
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1’36.973 +1.746 26 laps
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1’37.513 +2.286 26 laps
9 Sergio Perez Force India 1’37.601 +2.374 27 laps
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1’37.613 +2.386 20 laps
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’37.847 +2.620 29 laps
12  Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’37.861 +2.634 17 laps
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 1’37.886 +2.659 22 laps
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1’37.921 +2.694 20 laps
15 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1’38.055 +2.828 25 laps
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1’38.184 +2.957 18 laps
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1’38.313 +3.086 20 laps
18 Felipe Massa Williams 1’38.339 +3.112 24 laps
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’39.148 +3.921 23 laps
20 Esteban Ocon Manor 1’40.036 +4.809 28 laps
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1’40.627 +5.400 26 laps
22 Kevin Magnussen Renault no times 2 laps