Malaysian GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest for Mercedes in practice one

Lewis Hamilton set the early pace in the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend with the quickest time in the opening free practice session for Mercedes

Malaysian GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest for Mercedes in practice one

The Briton recorded his fastest time, a 1m40.691s lap, 0.152 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, an hour into the session, at the hot and humid Sepang International Circuit.

The first Formula 1 running early on Friday morning was characterised by a number of drivers struggling with rear grip and locking brakes on the dry and dusty circuit.

Fernando Alonso spun his Ferrari at the high-speed Turn 8 - a mistake repeated at the same corner by Williams's Felipe Massa. Hamilton went off at Turn 11 in the closing stages and the errors pointed to the general lack of grip at the tricky Sepang track.

A few teams suffered reliability problems in the blistering heat as they continued to adjust to their new 1.6-litre V6 power units.

McLaren's Keven Magnussen had just set the fastest time before the hour mark when his car came to a halt after losing engine power at the pitlane entrance. He set the fifth fastest time overall, just one place behind team-mate Jenson Button.

World champion Sebastian Vettel ended practice one in seventh place - 0.832s off Hamilton's quickest lap.

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Lotus hit the most trouble as Romain Grosjean stopped out on track after just two laps of running with a problem with his MGU-H, while team-mate Pastor Maldonado spent most of the session in the garage.

He emerged from the pits less than 20 minutes from the end of practice only to suffer a smoky end to his first lap back out of the pits.

Rosberg ended up third fastest in his Mercedes, but the Australian Grand Prix winner radioed into his team with an early concern with his car after he locked the rear brakes and nearly spun while entering the pitlane after his installation lap right at the beginning of the practice period.

Practice benefited from the use of the additional bonus tyre in the first half and hour and during that time Alonso was initially fastest ahead of Magnussen.

Among other incidents, Caterham's Marcus Ericssion and Sauber's Adrian Sutil both looped their cars under braking for the final corner but continued unharmed.

Sergio Perez suffered problems with his Force India and after his installation lap failed to complete another lap of the session.

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m40.691s           19
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m40.843s  +0.152s  20
 3.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m41.028s  +0.337s  19
 4.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.111s  +0.420s  20
 5.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.274s  +0.583s  18
 6.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m41.402s  +0.711s  15
 7.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m41.523s  +0.832s  9
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m41.642s  +0.951s  19
 9.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m41.686s  +0.995s  23
10.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m41.830s  +1.139s  22
11.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m41.923s  +1.232s  14
12.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m42.117s  +1.426s  20
13.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.365s  +1.674s  21
14.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m42.869s  +2.178s  21
15.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.904s  +2.213s  23
16.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m43.825s  +3.134s  18
17.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m45.775s  +5.084s  24
18.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m46.911s  +6.220s  10
19.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m51.180s  +10.489s 5
20.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes                      2
21.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault                             2
22.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault                             4
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