Malaysian GP: Mark Webber fastest in first practice

Red Bull returned to the top in opening practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as Mark Webber led the way at Sepang on Friday morning

Malaysian GP: Mark Webber fastest in first practice

His team-mate Sebastian Vettel was back in third, behind Melbourne winner Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus.

The Finn had not joined the track until 55 minutes into the session as his mechanics worked to replace a KERS battery.

But Raikkonen needed no time to get up to speed as he immediately put a 1m37.003s lap, 0.068 seconds down on pacesetter Webber and sufficient to split the Red Bulls.

Although Raikkonen was late out of the garage, he did not miss out on much running as it took 34 minutes for anyone to set a flying lap.

Most of the pack waited in the pits for circuit conditions to improve, then set their fastest times in a 10 minute spell of short runs before switching to heavy fuel for the rest of the morning.

Those long runs featured significant pace drop-off as tyres wore, with Lewis Hamilton in particular complaining of his Pirellis being "destroyed".

Behind Webber, Raikkonen and Vettel, Fernando Alonso put the leading Ferrari fourth, followed by Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

Adrian Sutil followed up his star turn in Melbourne with sixth place, despite having to pit for repairs after damaging his Force India's wing on a kerb.

Alonso and Sutil's respective team-mates Felipe Massa and Paul di Resta were seventh and eighth, with Hamilton and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.

Elsewhere, form appeared similar to Australia, as McLaren, Williams and Sauber were all outside the top 10. Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez committed the only significant error of the session as he went off at Turn 14.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.935s 15 2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m37.003s + 0.068s 15 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.104s + 0.169s 21 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.319s + 0.384s 13 5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.588s + 0.653s 19 6. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m37.769s + 0.834s 17 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m37.771s + 0.836s 15 8. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.773s + 0.838s 15 9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.840s + 0.905s 18 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.915s + 0.980s 17 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.173s + 1.238s 16 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m38.673s + 1.738s 16 13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.830s + 1.895s 17 14. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.054s + 2.119s 17 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.204s + 2.269s 16 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m39.208s + 2.273s 19 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.284s + 2.349s 17 18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.567s + 2.632s 16 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m40.728s + 3.793s 17 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m40.996s + 4.061s 14 21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m41.163s + 4.228s 18 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.513s + 4.578s 14 

AUTOSPORT Malaysian GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes has more pace than it showed in Melbourne

Previous article

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes has more pace than it showed in Melbourne

Next article

Sergio Perez not regretting McLaren move despite team's issues

Sergio Perez not regretting McLaren move despite team's issues
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Matt Beer
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021