Webber edges Raikkonen in first Friday practice

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix first practice

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Red Bull headed the times sheets in first practice for the second weekend in a row.

But this time it was Mark Webber rather than his team mate who led the way.

As in Melbourne the session got off to a quiet start. Once the drivers had completed they installation laps hardly anyone ventured out onto the track for the next half an hour.

After Max Chilton the second driver to set a time was Sergio Perez, the early appearance of the McLaren on track an indication of the work the team have to do to sort out the problematic MP4-28.

Jenson Button joined his team mate on the track shortly afterwards but his run was cut short by a right-rear puncture.

Within a few minutes the track was busy and the the Red Bulls took to the top of the times, Webber being the only driver to lap the circuit in less than 97 seconds.

Sebastian Vettel initially took up second behind him until Kimi Raikkonen split their pair of RB9s. The winner of the Australian Grand Prix had a disrupted start to the session – a KERS problem meant he was the last driver to set a time.

Force India also ran into trouble as Adrian Sutil experienced a front-right wing failure after running over a kerb. Later in the session his engineer attempted to warn him to stay off the kerbs, which Sutil misheard as an instruction not to use KERS.

Esteban Gutierrez had a spin in the Sauber when he came across Felipe Massa at turn, but didn’t hit anything. Fernando Alonso was the quickest of the two Ferraris in fourth place after locking up and going off at turn one.

The lap times dropped off sharply towards the end of the session as drivers increasingly struggled to post improvements on their increasingly worn tyres. Hamilton reported his rears were finished after 18 laps.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.935 15
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’37.003 0.068 15
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.104 0.169 21
4 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.319 0.384 13
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.588 0.653 19
6 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’37.769 0.834 17
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’37.771 0.836 15
8 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’37.773 0.838 15
9 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’37.840 0.905 18
10 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’37.915 0.980 17
11 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’38.173 1.238 16
12 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’38.673 1.738 16
13 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’38.830 1.895 17
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.054 2.119 17
15 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.204 2.269 16
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’39.208 2.273 19
17 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.284 2.349 17
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.567 2.632 16
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’40.728 3.793 17
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’40.996 4.061 14
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’41.163 4.228 18
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’41.513 4.578 18

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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18 comments on Webber edges Raikkonen in first Friday practice

  1. Something fishy about that Redbull…

  2. Peter_GH said on 22nd March 2013, 3:47

    If its dry it looks like we could be in for yet another ‘race’ full of drivers driving slowly to save tyres :(

    So with that a 2 DRS zones it looks like i will be turning off early.

  3. Rahim.RG (@rahim-rg) said on 22nd March 2013, 4:18

    Lotus Looks good..i’m having a good feeling..rain or shine…

  4. sumedh said on 22nd March 2013, 4:39

    Half a second between Felipe and Fernando. I know it is just 1st practice, but still..

  5. Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 22nd March 2013, 4:41

    I wonder how Hulkenberg feels about his move to Sauber at the moment.

    • MB (@muralibhats) said on 22nd March 2013, 5:09

      like jumping from a frying pan to boiling oil.

      Still a long season.

    • Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 22nd March 2013, 5:16

      me too. I don’t expect Force India to be that quick even after their major facility upgrade. Sauber is a bit concern for me as they radically change the concept (ex: tiny sidepod). while I’m sure McLaren will bounce back rather quickly, I doubt the same would happen in Sauber.

    • Pandaslap (@pandaslap) said on 22nd March 2013, 6:44

      @muralibhats It is a long season and things can change but, as @adityafakhri points out, it is less likely for Sauber to bounce back after starting on the wrong foot.

      I’m not the biggest Hulk fan myself, but I think a lot of people wanted to see him really emerge as a challenger this season. With Sauber this far off the pace, it is seeming less and less likely that we will see him competing for podiums.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 22nd March 2013, 6:58

      I think he sees it as a step closer to Ferrari to be honest. And I don’t think Sauber are doing that bad really.

    • Was it down to results? I seriously doubt it, therefore I think he must not worry that much about it.

  6. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 22nd March 2013, 4:56

    Whats up with Perez?…

  7. Aditya F. Yahya (@adityafakhri) said on 22nd March 2013, 5:19

    I suspect it just a matter of finding setup for qualifying, not in longer run as Red Bull leading again, and Raikkonen closely followed after problems and set the time latter in the session. Better picture as always will be in FP2.

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