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.
2014 Malaysian Grand Prix
- Hamilton adds Driver of the Weekend to Malaysia grand slam
- F1 lap times in Malaysia slowest since first race
- Malaysian Grand Prix fails to excite
- 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix fans’ video gallery
- 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix team radio transcript
Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei