Hamilton tops Sepang running despite problems

By on Friday, March 27, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time during practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, despite a day hampered by several issues.

The Briton missed the opening practice session after stopping out on track with an engine problem on his out lap.

He then spent the first part of the second session in the garage and had to return to the pits when Mercedes lost the telemetry.

He was nonetheless able to post a time of 1:39.790 on the Medium tyres to go almost four tenths of a second quicker than Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen.

Nico Rosberg was third fastest after making a minor error on his hot lap, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat in fourth place, the Russian pulling his car into the pits during the final few minutes with a reported technical problem.

Williams occupied fifth and sixth with Valtteri Bottas edging out team-mate Felipe Massa, while Sebastian Vettel had a scruffy session on his way to seventh.

The Ferrari driver was a front runner during the early stages of the session but had his first run interrupted by a brief red flag when Roberto Merhi spun off, while Vettel made a similar error to the Spaniard on his second run on the Medium compound.

Max Verstappen placed eighth for Toro Rosso, with Marcus Ericsson and Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top 10 – the Australian missing out on long run simulation due to an apparent problem with his RB11.

Pastor Maldonado was 11th for Lotus, while Felipe Nasr placed 12th, having sat out the opening session in favour of reserve driver Raffaele Marciello.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr split the Force India pairing of Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg, while Fernando Alonso finished ahead of Jenson Button on his return to action with McLaren.

Lotus’ Romain Grosjean enjoyed a promising first session but was down in 18th during the second running after sitting out the latter half of the session due to a power problem.

Manor made it out on track in both sessions, with Will Stevens almost six seconds off of Hamilton’s pace and Merhi a little further back after his spin into the gravel, which ended his running prematurely.

PositionNumberDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:39.79016
27Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:40.1630.37329
36Nico RosbergMercedes1:40.2180.42826
426Daniil KvyatRed Bull1:40.3460.55617
577Valtteri BottasWilliams1:40.4500.66031
619Felipe MassaWilliams1:40.5600.77027
75Sebastian VettelFerrari1:40.6520.86229
833Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:41.2201.43030
99Marcus EricssonSauber1:41.2611.47130
103Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:41.7992.0098
1113Pastor MaldonadoLotus1:41.8772.08715
1212Felipe NasrSauber1:41.9882.19830
1311Sergio PerezForce India1:42.2422.45224
1455Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:42.2912.50131
1527Nico HulkenbergForce India1:42.3302.54028
1614Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:42.5062.71625
1722Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:42.6372.84724
188Romain GrosjeanLotus1:42.9483.1587
1928Will StevensMarussia1:45.7045.91412
2098Roberto MerhiMarussia1:47.2297.4396

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