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Malaysian GP 2015

MARCH 27, 2015

Practice 2 Report - He's Back

Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian GP 2015
© Active Pictures


Mechanical problems in FP1 and FP2 could not stop Lewis Hamilton from getting back to the front and setting the quickest time of the day during free practice Friday for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The ambient temperature five minutes before the start of the 90-minute session was 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 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.

After missing most of FP1 because of a failure on the power unit inlet system, Hamilton was now in the garage as the Mercedes crew worked on his car.

Stevens was the first out. A couple of minutes later Raikkonen joined him.

4 minutes into the session, Stevens posted the first time of the session: 1:46.705.

Ferrari, however, set the early pace with Vettel turning a 1:40.980 and Raikkonen a 1:41.002.

The drivers were using the hard compound Pirelli tires for the first part of FP2.

12 minutes into the session, Grosjean went off and on the track at Turn 1.

16 minutes into the session, Rosberg made his first visit to the track. His first flying lap was a 1:40.438, and he would lower that to a 1:40.282.

At the 30 minute mark the top six were: Rosberg, Vettel, Raikkonen, Bottas, Massa and Verstappen.

32 minutes into the session, Merhi spun off into the gravel trap at Turn 11, which brought out the red flags to stop the session.

38 minutes into the session, the green lights came on. First out: Hamilton. But he stopped to at pit exit to do a practice start and other drivers swarmed past him.

41 minutes into the session, Vettel spun at Turn 11. He was on the medium compound Pirelli slicks at the time.

Others were doing their runs on the medium tires now as well, including Rosberg, Raikkonen and Bottas.

Raikkonen topped the times with a 1:40.163, which was just 0.119 of second quicker than the time Rosberg had done on the hard tires. Bottas was now third with a 1:40.450.

With 42 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg, on mediums, set a 1:40.218.

Things were not going well for Hamilton. The team told him to pit because they had lost all telemetry from the car.

With 37 minutes remaining in the session, the top six were: Raikkonen, Rosberg, Bottas, Massa, Vettel and Hamilton. Only the latter had not set his time on the medium tires.

With 35 minutes remaining in the session, Ericsson was the only driver on the track.

With 30 minutes remaining in the session, Kvyat had a go on the mediums and moved from ninth to third.

With 26 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton headed out on the medium tires. He set a time of 1:39.790 to take first place from Raikkonen.

So now the top 10 were: Hamilton, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Kvyat, Bottas, Massa, Vettel, Verstappen, Ericsson and Ricciardo.

And that was the same order when the checkered flag came out to end FP2.