Malaysia Grand Prix | Hamilton hammers the pace FP2, despite more problems with his Mercedes

Hamilton hammers home the fastest lap of FP2 for the Malaysia Grand Prix.

Lewis topped the time sheet by 0.373 seconds to Kimi Raikkonen, while Rosberg rounded out the top three, one tenth back in Sepang. FP2 also proved to be full of further issues on board Lewis’ Silver Arrow with the Brit sitting out most of the session.

Back in FP1, Rosberg set the fastest lap time of the session ahead of the Ferrari’s of Raikkonen and Vettel whilst his team mate sat out the session without setting a lap time. Hamilton was forced out of that session with an engine issue after the team told Lewis to stop out on track.

During FP2, more issues faced the Brit as he sat out most of the session before hitting the track, going fastest and boxing once more due to having no telemetry back in the garage.

FP2 also proved to be another strong session for Ferrari as Kimi battled Rosberg across the session for the fastest time while Lewis sat out and watched on.

As for Lotus, the team managed only a handful of laps with each driver. For Maldonado, he was forced into a lengthy stay in his garage following an early incident where the left sidepod came loose and blew debris across the track. This is not the first time in recent F1 history for this type of scenario to happen as Williams suffered similar issues with both cars last year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The debris that spewed across the back straight from the Lotus was not severe enough to warrant a red flag situation, but half an hour later and the red flag was waving thanks to a beached Marussia at the hands of Roberto Merhi.

Merhi beached his car in the gravel at turn 11 after loosing the rear of the car before the rear overtook the front end and sent the F1 rookie into a spin. After the restart another driver was going for a spin down at turn 11, this time it was the four-time World Champ Sebastian Vettel.

Come the restart and Hamilton was joining the action for the first time this session, but it was Kimi Raikkonen lowing the benchmark time for the midway mark. Unfortunately, Hamilton was unable to challenge Kimi’s time at this stage as he was called back to the garage as the team lost all telemetry again.

This time however, he was only in the garage for a matter of moments before rejoining the action and leaping into the lead by three tenths of a second. Lewis also felt that on that lap he was suffering ‘downgraded shifts’ suggesting even more pace could have been found.

Over the next few minutes the push for pace died down and teams changed their focus towards race pace and long runs. But down at Red Bull, problems arose with Kvyat’s car with the drive. He was initially told by the team to stop the car but the drive soon returned allowing him to coast back to the garage.

With race pace the focus until the chequered flag, Lewis Hamilton ended the session on top despite carrying out 10 less laps than his team mate. Ricciardo only managed to complete eight laps over the session. While Nasr, Bottas, Verstappen, Ericsson and Sainz all completed over 30.

  1. Hamilton (1:39:790) 16 laps
  2. Raikkonen (1:40:163) 29 laps
  3. Rosberg
  4. Kvyat
  5. Bottas
  6. Massa
  7. Vettel
  8. Verstappen
  9. Ericsson
  10. Ricciardo
  11. Maldonado
  12. Nasr
  13. Perez
  14. Sainz
  15. Hulkenberg
  16. Alonso
  17. Button
  18. Grosjean
  19. Stevens
  20. Merhi