Red Bull’s Mark Webber outclassed Melbourne victor Kimi Raikkonen and his World Champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel during the first practice session for Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Australian was the only driver to dip into the 1m 36’s as the field struggled to get to grips with Pirelli tyres that experienced extremely high levels of degradation.
Fernando Alonso got the best of Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, who was in a Force India sandwich in 6th place with just 0.006 covering the Brazilian, Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta. Nico Rosberg once again beat Mercedes stablemate Lewis Hamilton, while Romain Grosjean ended the session almost a second slower than Raikkonen.
McLaren continued to mark time in the midfield, with Jenson Button in 11th, 0.8 seconds clear of Sergio Perez in 13th. Pastor Maldonado was 12th as Williams too went back to basics in a bid to understand their own lack of pace in Melbourne.
On high-fuel runs, Lotus again led the way with Kimi Raikkonen lapping some 5-8 seconds faster than his main rivals just 4 laps into his stint.
FP2 will follow at 06:00 GMT.
|1||Mark WEBBER||Red Bull||1:36:935|
|3||Sebastian VETTEL||Red Bull||1:37:104|
|6||Adrian SUTIL||Force India||1:37:769|
|8||Paul DI RESTA||Force India||1:37:773|
|17||Jean Eric VERGNE||Toro Rosso||1:39:284|
|18||Daniel RICCIARDO||Toro Rosso||1:39:567|
|19||Diego VAN DER GARDE||Caterham||1:40:728|