Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in Sepang

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Mercedes began the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend as they ended the first race, by setting the pace around the Sepang International Circuit.

Lewis Hamilton’s lap of 1’40.691 was the fastest during the first session despite the Mercedes driver giving away some time in the middle of the lap.

He was split from team mate Nico Rosberg at the top of the times by Kimi Raikkonen, who was second fastest for Ferrari. The McLaren pair completed the top five.

But the Malaysian heat took its toll on the teams, especially Lotus, who suffered another desperate day. Romain Grosjean’s car came to a stop halfway around his second lap early in the session, and he didn’t return to the track until the final ten minutes.

Pastor Maldonado had also hit trouble on his second lap a few minutes earlier. His car was visibly smoking on the back straight, and though Maldonado was advised to bring it to a stop he managed to coast far enough into the pit entrance that the marshals were able to push him the rest of the way so his team could recover him.

But Lotus weren’t the only team to hit trouble. Kevin Magnussen had a similar experience to Maldonado at the pit entry when his McLaren went into ‘recovery mode’ shortly after he set the fastest time during the second half of the session.

Sergio Perez also failed to set a time after being sidelined by a fuel pressure problem following his first run of the day.

The tricky handling of the new cars also caught out several drivers. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had similar spins at turn eight, the rear of their cars snapping away as they got onto the power.

Adrian Sutil had a strange spin on his way into the pits early on the session. Both Sauber drivers appeared to struggle with the C33’s handling, particularly in the quicker corners.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’40.691 19
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’40.843 0.152 20
3 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.028 0.337 19
4 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.111 0.420 20
5 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.274 0.583 18
6 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’41.402 0.711 15
7 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’41.523 0.832 9
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’41.642 0.951 19
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’41.686 0.995 23
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’41.830 1.139 22
11 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’41.923 1.232 14
12 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’42.117 1.426 20
13 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.365 1.674 21
14 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’42.869 2.178 21
15 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.904 2.213 23
16 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’43.825 3.134 18
17 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’45.775 5.084 24
18 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’46.911 6.220 10
19 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’51.180 10.489 10
20 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2
21 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2
22 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei