Malaysian GP 2015
MARCH 27, 2015
Practice 1 Report - The Good and The Bad
Free Practice 1 for the Malaysian Grand Prix was good for Nico Rosberg who clocked the fastest lap time on the session in his Mercedes, but it went bad for his teammate Lewis Hamilton who did just four laps before stopping out on the track with drive train problems.
The ambient temperature five minutes before the start of the 90-minute session was 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Centigrade.)
The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Red Bull Renault - Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Toro Rosso Renault - Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Lotus Mercedes - Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Marussia Ferrari - Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi. Sauber - Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
However, Sauber reserve driver Raffaele Marciello took over Nasr's car for the session.
The first driver out on the 3.444-mile (5.543-km) 15-turn track was Ericsson.
The Marussias, which failed to do a single lap in Australia, were ready to go in Malaysia.
One minute and 30 seconds into the session Stevens drove out of the Marussia garage. Everybody else except Merhi did an installation lap or two and then headed back to the garages.
9 minutes into the session, Mehri did his first lap. He radioed in that that car was feeling strange.
16 minutes into the session, Ericsson posted the first lap time: 1:44.483. But Bottas sliced a second off of that when he clocked a 1:43.432, only to have Ericsson respond with a 1:43.414.
18 minutes into the session, Verstappen set the new benchmark with a time of 1:42.725, but Bottas was back with a 1:42.533.
19 minutes into the session, Rosberg went off the track at Turn 9 and continued.
The drivers were using the hard compound Pirelli slicks with the orange sidewalls.
23 minutes into the session, Rosberg clocked a 1:40.973. Teammate Hamilton had done just three laps and had yet to set a time.
Grosjean was now second with a 1:42.202.
26 minutes into the session, Rosberg improved to a 1:40.561.
28 minutes into the session, Hamilton stopped at Turn 9 while on his fifth lap.
At the 30 minute mark the top six were: Rosberg, Sainz, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Ricciardo and Massa. Stevens and Merhi had each done just one lap so far.
Not much happened in the next 15 minutes, although Smith did take to the track just before the midpoint of the session. The top six remained unchanged.
With 42 minutes remaining in the session, Stevens posted the first lap time for Marussia - a 1:51.091. He improved to a 1:46.686.
Vettel, meanwhile, had done just two laps in the Ferrari.
With 35 minutes remaining in the session, Grosjean moved into second place with a 1:41.543. Vettel, sitting in his Ferrari, watched the action on TV.
With 32 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg improved to a 1:40.124
With 31 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel headed out of the garage.
At the one hour mark the top six were: Rosberg, Grosjean, Sainz, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo.
With 29 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel moved into sixth place.
With 25 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel turned a 1:41.471 which was third fastest behind Rosberg and Raikkonen. Grosjean, Sainz and Ricciardo rounded out the top six.
With 17 minutes remaining in the session, Merhi headed out for his second lap. He stayed out there, setting a 1:58.225, and then a 1:48.937, and then a 1:47.842.
With 9 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg set out again. He was not going for fast laps, however, so did not improve on his personal best.
The top 10 at the end of FP1 were: Rosberg, Raikkonen, Vettel, Grosjean, Sainz, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Bottas, Kvyat and Ericsson.