March 28th, 2014 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Nico Rosberg kept Mercedes on top in the second practice session for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix. However, Rosberg's advantage was smaller than expected. The first five drivers were separated by less than two tenths of a second. Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest for Ferrari, ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.
At this early stage of the season, it's crucial that the teams and drivers get as many laps in as possible during practice sessions. Valtteri Bottas led the way for Williams in that department, clocking up 35 laps in the 90-minute session. At the other end of the scale were Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi and Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, neither of whom left their pit garages at all during FP2.
Lotus have had a very difficult start to the 2014 season, with neither driver finishing the opening race in Melbourne two weeks ago. Their woes seem to be continuing this weekend - neither driver set a lap time in the morning FP1 session and Maldonado did not put a wheel on the track in FP2. However, on a positive note, Romain Grosjean did manage to complete 14 laps in FP2. He was down in 17th place and his session ended early with the Lotus stopped on track, but at least he did get some running in.
The front of the field is looking very close. Mercedes are leading the way, but Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams seem not too far off the pace. It's difficult to know the true pecking order at this early stage of the weekend, as the teams could be running quite different fuel loads to each other. The order will become more clear during tomorrow's qualifying session.
Full results from FP2:
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:39.970||0.061||30|
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:40.276||0.367||29|
|10||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:40.691||0.782||34|
|11||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:40.777||0.868||33|
|14||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:41.325||1.416||32|
|16||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:41.671||1.762||25|
|21||10||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham||No time||0|
|22||13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus||No time||0|