FP2: Hamilton edges ahead at Sepang


Lewis Hamilton pulled one back against Nico Rosberg as he beat the championship leader by 0.2s in Friday’s second practice for the Malaysian GP.

Second practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix got underway in sweltering conditions as the track temperature reached a high of 58’C.

There was an interesting mix of medium, hard and soft compounds at the start with Rosberg the early pace-setter on a 1:36.543.

Hamilton, who was on the hard tyres to team-mate’s mediums, was 0.079s down on his first flying lap. His second saw him slide up into P1 with a 1:36.144.

Swapping to the soft tyres, Sebastian Vettel went quickest with a 1:35.605 and reported that he was “reasonably happy” with his lap.

That, though, was not enough to hold off the Mercedes drivers as Rosberg’s soft tyre saw him cross the line with a 1:35.177 before than was bettered by Hamilton with a 1:34.944.

The World Champ’s time stood through to the chequered flag as he topped FP2 by 0.233s ahead of Rosberg. Vettel dropped to third.

Kimi Raikkonen put in a second flying lap on his soft tyres to take fourth place off Max Verstappen. Ferrari’s Finn was the final driver to get within a second of Hamilton’s P1 time as he was 0.898s off the pace.

Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso were sixth and seventh ahead of Daniel Ricciardo while Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button completed the top ten.

Many of the drivers continued to struggle through the final corner, which was altered during the recent resurfacing.

Now an off-camber turn, drivers tried different lines to hook up the apex with many getting well out of shape.

Kevin Magnussen, who sat out FP1 after his Renault caught fire following his installation lap, was back out on track for the day’s second session. He finished P19 with a best time of 1:37.664.

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’34.944 35 laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’35.177 +0.233 36 laps
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’35.605 +0.661 37 laps
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’35.842 +0.898 31 laps
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1’36.037 +1.093 29 laps
6 Sergio Perez Force India 1’36.284 +1.340 33 laps
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1’36.296 +1.352 27 laps
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’36.337 +1.393 30 laps
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1’36.390 +1.446 37 laps
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1’36.715 +1.771 22 laps
11 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1’36.836 +1.892 30 laps
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’36.940 +1.996 36 laps
13 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’37.016 +2.072 37 laps
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1’37.048 +2.104 28 laps
15 Felipe Massa Williams 1’37.110 +2.166 19 laps
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’37.297 +2.353 29 laps
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1’37.449 +2.505 28 laps
18 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1’37.547 +2.603 26 laps
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1’37.664 +2.720 19 laps
20 Romain Grosjean Haas 1’37.789 +2.845 25 laps
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1’37.878 +2.934 34 laps
22 Esteban Ocon Manor 1’37.990 +3.046 36 laps