F1 2014

Merc on top again – Malaysia FP1

Mercedes proved unstoppable once again in FP1 for Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, as despite mistakes from both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg they ended up in 1st and 3rd places respectively. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen split the duo by putting his F310 into P2.

The 90 minute session was run in typically humid and oppressive Sepang weather, and the conditions proved too much for both Lotus E21 cars – perhaps unsurprisingly. Romain Grosjean failed to set a time on his first run when he lost power on his outlap, while team-mate Pastor Maldonado fared much the same, being forced to stop his ungainly mount when it insisted on giving out copious amounts of smoke. Grosjean managed to get back out before the end of the morning, but again there was only limited running for the Frenchman.

Spins afflicted Adrian Sutil and Fernando Alonso, with many drivers struggling with the different torque characteristics of the new V6 Turbo engines. Most teams elected to evaluate different cooling procedures and setups ahead of the notoriously car-cruel event.

For McLaren there were major updates with a whole new nose section introduced to the MP4/29 designed to claw back ‘half a second’ on pacesetters Mercedes according to Ron Dennis; though Jenson Button estimated it was more probably around a tenth. Team-mate Kevin Magnussen had a scare when he stopped on circuit and had to be wheeled back into the pitlane, but it emerged a faulty sensor setting was all that was responsible for shutting down his engine to save the Mercedes powerplant from an imagined threat.

FP2 begins at 06:00 GMT.

CLASSIFICATION – FP1 – 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

1 Hamilton Mercedes 1:40:691
2 Raikkonen Ferrari +0.152
3 Rosberg Mercedes +0.337
4 Button McLaren +0.420
5 Magnussen McLaren +0.583
6 Vergne Toro Rosso +0.711
7 Vettel Red Bull +0.832
8 Hulkenberg Force India +0.951
9 Massa Williams +0.995
10 Bottas Williams +1.139
11 Alonso Ferrari +1.232
12 Ricciardo Red Bull +1.426
13 Sutil Sauber +1.674
14 Kvyat Toro Rosso +2.178
15 Gutierrez Sauber +2.213
16 Bianchi Marussia +3.134
17 Ericsson Caterham +5.084
18 Chilton Marussia +6.220
19 Kobayashi Caterham +10.489
20 Perez Force India No Time
21 Maldonado Lotus No Time
22 Grosjean Lotus No Time

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