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Malaysian GP: Nico Rosberg fastest as Mercedes dominates

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Malaysian GP 2014, Sepang

Nico Rosberg enters qualifying as a favourite for pole position after setting the fastest time in final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Rosberg finished ahead of his Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton as the team was the class of the field in Saturday lunchtime's period.

The duo topped the timesheets throughout the hour when they were running on both the hard and medium compound tyres.

The Mercedes pair were a whole second ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen at a hot and overcast Sepang International Circuit.

The Ferraris were the first to switch to the medium compound tyre with just over 20 minutes of the session remaining. But their positions at the top of timing screens were shortlived once the Mercedes switched to the softer compound rubber.

Both the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo sat out most of the beginning of the session, only coming out halfway through the hour. Vettel's late lap gave him the fourth quickest time, two positions ahead of his team-mate.

German Nico Hulkenberg impressed with the fifth fastest time on the medium compound tyres in his Force India.

It was a problematic session for McLaren, which completed the least of amount of running.

Early in the session Kevin Magnussen complained on the team radio he had suffered a loss of power with his engine. Reports suggest it was a repeat of the exhaust sensor problem he suffered on Friday morning.

And team-mate Jenson Button also spent the majority of the session in the garage, save for a couple of early installation laps.

Lotus finally got some mileage this weekend as Pastor Maldonado managed a total of 20 laps across the hour, although he and his team-mate Romain Grosjean suffered a number of off-track excursions as they struggled to dial the set-up into the car.

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m39.008s            13
 2.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m39.240s  +0.232s   13
 3.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m40.156s  +1.148s   13
 4.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m40.387s  +1.379s   14
 5.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m40.523s  +1.515s   15
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m40.686s  +1.678s   14
 7.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m40.736s  +1.728s   14
 8.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m40.781s  +1.773s   20
 9.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m40.891s  +1.883s   20
10.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m41.029s  +2.021s   15
11.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.182s  +2.174s   18
12.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.441s  +2.433s   18
13.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m41.552s  +2.544s   15
14.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.041s  +3.033s   17
15.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m42.749s  +3.741s   16
16.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault         1m43.539s  +4.531s   20
17.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m43.977s  +4.969s   16
18.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m44.170s  +5.162s   18
19.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m44.457s  +5.449s   12
20.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m46.015s  +7.007s   7
21.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      2m05.555s  +26.547s  4
22.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes                           5
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