March 28th, 2014 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Lewis Hamilton set the quickest lap time in the first practice session for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg third fastest. The two Silver Arrows were split by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Mercedes went into the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend firm favourites after a dominant performance in Melbourne two weeks ago where Nico Rosberg took a comfortable victory. Although times from first practice are not necessarily indicative of the pecking order for the weekend, it's no surprise to see both Mercedes drivers in the top three.
While Mercedes had a good FP1 session, Lotus continues to struggle in this early stage of the season. Neither Romain Grosjean nor Pastor Maldonado managed to set a lap time, with both cars having issues out on track that prevented them from doing much meaningful running. Grosjean's car stopped out on track at turn 9 25 minutes into the session. To the Lotus mechanics' credit, they managed to get Grosjean back out on track before the session ended after the car was recovered to the pits. Maldonado spent most of the session in the pits, and when he eventually took to the track he ended up limping back to the pits with a smoking car.
Aside from the two Lotus drivers, Force India's Sergio Perez also failed to set a lap time in FP1. The Mexican was stuck in the Force India pit garage for almost the entire session, and was on track for just 2 laps.
Despite being fastest in the session, Lewis Hamilton commented over his team radio that the track conditions were very slippery, "It's like driving on marbles out there." Early in the weekend, that's not too much of a surprise. The level of grip should increase significantly through the weekend as more rubber gets laid down on the track.
Full results from FP1:
|6||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:41.402||0.711||15|
|7||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:41.523||0.832||9|
|8||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:41.642||0.951||19|
|12||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:42.117||1.426||20|
|14||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:42.869||2.178||21|
|20||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||No time||2|
|21||13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus||No time||2|
|22||8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus||No time||4|