Just as one race ends another begins, this time at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The first session was dominated by Brazil’s Felipe Massa, who managed to end up a second clear of Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen. The pair will be looking to improve from last weekend’s dismal Australian Grand Prix which saw both drivers retire after a slew of mistakes. Heikki Kovalainen ran well in the first session and slotted into third, although he dropped to seventh after lunch. Lewis Hamilton in the sister MP4-23 ran well in practice one and finished fifth, improving to first in the second session. Buoyed from his win in Australia, the Briton will be looking to repeat his success at Sepang on Sunday.
Renault ran surprisingly well in the morning with Fernando Alonso going just 0.012s faster than his team mate Nelson Piquet Jr. The pair broke for lunch in sixth and seventh respectively. However, after resuming in the afternoon, they both went backwards and finished the day in fourteenth and fifteenth.
BMW had a mixed bag of results from Friday, Robert Kubica getting as high as eighth in the morning and repeating the feat in the afternoon. However, Nick Heidfeld started his day in eleventh and finished in thirteenth. Although as we all saw in Australia, the F1.08 is a great car during the race so I’m expecting both drivers to improve as they go into qualifying.
David Coulthard didn’t have a great session as he ran wide at Turn 12 and damaged his suspension on the kerbs. His car ended up being stranded in the gravel and caused a red flag. A short time later the second Red Bull of Mark Webber rolled down the pitlane, smoke billowing out the back, hinting at a failure of the Renault engine.
Other than that there were no big surprises from the first session. The second however emphasised just how determined Scuderia Toro Rosso are as Sebastian Vettel powered his car into fifth, missing out on fourth by 0.4s to Jenson Button’s Honda. Sixth place went to Jarno Trulli in the Toyota, who missed out on fifth by 0.019s, and Kovalainen and Kubica rounded out the top eight.
Giancarlo Fisichella again ran well in practice and put his Force India in ninth, Kazuki Nakajima getting ahead of Rubens Barrichello to take tenth. David Coulthard failed to set a time as engineers worked on his RB4 in the garage, mending the damage caused by his accident in the morning. Sebastien Bourdais also failed to set a lap time as his engine – a Ferrari – failed on the first lap.
The Super Aguris propped up the second timing sheet with Adrian Sutil not fairing as well as his team mate and settled for eighteenth.
Practice One Times
|1.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||1m35.392s||20 Laps|
|2.||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1m36.459s||8 Laps|
|3.||Heikki Kovalainen||McLaren||1m36.559s||21 Laps|
|4.||Nico Rosberg||Williams||1m36.578s||23 Laps|
|5.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren||1m36.626s||17 Laps|
|6.||Fernando Alonso||Renault||1m.37.022s||18 Laps|
|7.||Nelson Piquet Jr||Renault||1m37.034s||28 Laps|
|8.||Robert Kubica||BMW||1m37.218s||9 Laps|
|9.||Jenson Button||Honda||1m37.282s||17 Laps|
|10.||Jarno Trulli||Toyota||1m37.540s||24 Laps|
|11.||Nick Heidfeld||BMW||1m37.649s||17 Laps|
|12.||Kazuki Nakajima||Williams||1m37.649s||18 Laps|
|13.||Rubens Barrichello||Honda||1m37.776s||20 Laps|
|14.||Timo Glock||Toyota||1m37.782s||27 Laps|
|15.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m38.219s||26 Laps|
|16.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m38.232s||7 Laps|
|17.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1m38.707s||12 Laps|
|18.||Sebastien Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m38.798s||25 Laps|
|19.||Giancarlo Fisichella||Force India||1m39.046s||21 Laps|
|20.||Takuma Sato||Super Aguri||1m40.178s||11 Laps|
|21.||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri||1m40.351s||14 Laps|
|22.||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1m41.269s||5 Laps|
Practice Two Times
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren||1m35.055s||32 Laps|
|2.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||1m35.206s||33 Laps|
|3.||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1m35.428s||36 Laps|
|4.||Jenson Button||Honda||1m36.037s||40 Laps|
|5.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m36.474s||35 Laps|
|6.||Jarno Trulli||Toyota||1m.36.493s||38 Laps|
|7.||Heikki Kovalainen||McLaren||1m36.512s||30 Laps|
|8.||Robert Kubica||BMW||1m36.671s||33 Laps|
|9.||Giancarlo Fisichella||Force India||1m36.756s||37 Laps|
|10.||Kazuki Nakajima||Williams||1m36.838s||34 Laps|
|11.||Rubens Barrichello||Honda||1m36.879s||38 Laps|
|12.||Nico Rosberg||Williams||1m36.908s||36 Laps|
|13.||Nick Heidfeld||BMW||1m37.106s||35 Laps|
|14.||Fernando Alonso||Renault||1m37.328s||23 Laps|
|15.||Nelson Piquet Jr||Renault||1m37.331s||42 Laps|
|16.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1m37.346s||37 Laps|
|17.||Timo Glock||Toyota||1m37.512s||35 Laps|
|18.||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1m37.614s||35 Laps|
|19.||Takuma Sato||Super Aguri||1m39.021s||27 Laps|
|20.||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri||1m39.361s||30 Laps|
|21.||Sebastien Bourdais||Scuderia Toro Rosso||No Time||1 Lap|
|22.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||No Time||0 Laps|