Malaysian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Hamilton takes Friday honours
The McLaren of Lewis Hamilton stayed on top of the timesheets after the second session of Friday practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
There was a two-minute shower between the two sessions but it was dry again for the afternoon as track temperatures topped 50 degrees Celsius in the sweltering sun. Hamilton's time, set during preparations for qualifying, left him a quarter of a second ahead of the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.
After their Melbourne win, McLaren expect to be mixing it at the front again this weekend. Jenson Button has declared that Sepang should suit the McLaren even better than the Australian track as the car works at its best on high speed corners, of which there are several at the Malaysian circuit. Button complained of rear instability during a late run on the option tyre but he still finished 4th.
The two McLarens again put down an early marker, reaching the top of the times in the first ten minutes. The Mercedes joined them shortly afterwards, and with Robert Kubica next up the top five briefly mirrored the top five from this morning's session. Michael Schumacher traded fastest times with Hamilton early on but he finished the afternoon 5th. The Renaults of Kubica and Vitaly Petrov were 6th and 9th.
Mark Webber's woes continued after his disappointing home race. He went off the circuit early on with a drivetrain problem, yet another glitch for Red Bull early in 2010. The lost track time could prove costly for the team's plans this weekend.
Sebastian Vettel also came over the radio with complaints about the power steering, but it didn't stop him setting the second fastest time on his next lap. Still, none of this helps Red Bull's claims that it is on top of its reliability worries.
Ferrari concentrated firmly on race set-up work, just as they did in the corresponding session in Melbourne. Fernando Alonso moved up the times late on to 7th but Felipe Massa ended up 2.5 seconds off the pace in 15th.
Adrian Sutil had an off in his Force India at turn 10 but still made the top ten. Jaime Alguersuari also went off onto the gravel while his team-mate Sebastien Buemi was 8th.
Lotus were the quickest new team again with Jarno Trulli pipping Heikki Kovalainen. Intriguingly, following his morning's work for the Malaysian Lotus team, Fairuz Fauzy has spoken of the possibility of him taking part in a race at some point this season.