Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Mercedes stay ahead in Malaysia

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix second practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Mercedes headed the second practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix as they did the first, but this time Nico Rosberg was on top.

The two W05s were separated by just over a tenth of a second – and two of their rivals. Kimi Raikkonen was second-fastest ahead of Sebastian Vettel, followed by first practice pace setter Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were also within two-tenths of a second of Rosberg as the front of the field closed up in the second session.

In punishing 34C heat with track temperatures exceeding 50C, some drivers found their tyres were suffering quickly once their race preparation stints began. The Mercedes drivers in particular seemed to reach the limit of their medium tyres more quickly than their rivals.

Lotus’s dire problems continued into the second session, though Romain Grosjean managed to complete 14 laps between stoppages, before he was halted by a gearbox problem.

But team mate Pastor Maldonado failed to set a time at all, as did Kamui Kobayashi in the Caterham.

Max Chilton began the session with a spin at turn three. He was recovered by the marshals and was able to rejoin practice halfway through the session.

Several other drivers also ventured off the track without consequences. Daniel Ricciardo ran through a gravel trap on one of his final laps, while Nico Hulkenberg went straight on at the final corner in his Force India.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.909 30
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’39.944 0.035 30
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.970 0.061 30
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’40.051 0.142 32
5 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.103 0.194 29
6 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’40.112 0.203 34
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’40.276 0.367 29
8 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.628 0.719 28
9 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’40.638 0.729 35
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’40.691 0.782 34
11 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’40.777 0.868 33
12 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.014 1.105 20
13 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.257 1.348 28
14 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’41.325 1.416 32
15 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.407 1.498 34
16 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’41.671 1.762 25
17 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’42.531 2.622 14
18 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’43.638 3.729 20
19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’43.752 3.843 29
20 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’45.703 5.794 31
21 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 0
22 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 0

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

57 comments on “Mercedes stay ahead in Malaysia”

  1. Lewis looking good. His best sectors combined would have out him fastest. He was mostly quicker than Nico in the long runs too

    1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
      28th March 2014, 10:07

      Where are you getting the sector times from? I’d like to see them.

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      28th March 2014, 11:45

      @sdtaylor91 – True, and his best sectors combined in FP1 would have put half a second clear. This is a Hamilton track, and although he has not had much luck here in the past, I don’t see anyone beating him come Sunday.

      1. @william-brierty

        This is a Hamilton track

        Say what? Sepang is one of Lewis’ weakest, if not his weakest circuits.

        Rosberg was faster than Lewis here last year, and Lewis was convincingly beat by Button in 2011 and Alonso in 2007 (on raw pace).

        1. @kingshark Lewis has indeed failed to string a weekend together in Malaysia but I think he’s still in good prospect.

    3. more impressive reading was Vettel, 5 tenths down in sector one, and 2 tenths down in sector 3… yet less then 1 tenth down overall – with fastest middle sector by 2 tenths. the redbull has no chance on the straights (sector 1 and 3), so the driver skill and redbull aero in sector 2 are their only hope. I was surprised Mercedes were not so fast in sector 2, I thought they had a great car, but it looks like redbull have the better aero car, and are only behind because of power. rosberg was 3 tenths down in sector 2, and Hamilton 6 tenths down. Mercedes should get pole easily, but redbull are not as far off as it looked in testing. I hope they can be 2nd best team, instead of having Mercedes powered cars as the best 2 or 3.

  2. Here’s hoping Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull stay close all weekend. And McLaren catches up. ;)

  3. Mashiat (@)
    28th March 2014, 7:45

    An interesting race shall occur I hope! I am going to be there in the T1 grandstand cheering on Ferrari and Fernando. Forza Ferrari!

  4. Looks close but who knows.

  5. Incredible how close the top 6-7 cars are. I’d imagine though that come to qualy it wont be so close, with Merc comfortably fastest. Though the battle for “best of the rest” is going to be mighty.

  6. The Mercedes drivers in particular seemed to reach the limit of their medium tyres more quickly than their rivals.


  7. Storming job Lewis

  8. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    28th March 2014, 8:09

    Mercedes long run pace is considerably better than anyone else.
    If both cars are able to complete the race, then I’d say everyone else is competing for 3rd.

    1. Perhaps, but it has been said that they were harder on their tyres, so that might take some of the speed difference out during the race, can’t wait

      1. That comment about tyres is spurius. Try the link below to see they ran faster and longer than anyone else. Ricciardo&dr2=Lewis Hamilton

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      28th March 2014, 11:50

      @tophercheese21 – True they are utterly dominant. But unlike with Red Bull last year at we have the prospect of an inter-team battle to spice things up, although I can’t see Rosberg beating Hamilton.

      1. That’s the second time you say so in this topic. You do know Rosberg could’ve easily beaten Hamilton last year, don’t you? There is no way to say Rosberg can’t beat Hamilton this weekend.

      2. @william-brierty, you mean we didn’t have an inter-team battle at Red Bull last year in Malaysia, lol. Though, over the course of the season, RB didn’t have one.

        I’d agree, I can’t see Rosberg beating Hamilton, unless tires become the issue. I wouldn’t see team orders come in at some point, esp. if it’s Hamilton P1 and Rosberg P2 – Merc will be looking to get Hamilton back in the race for the WDC.

      3. redbull were not uttely dominant last year. it was close, and then vettel and the redbull team got momentum with consistency in performance… it became domination. at the moment it looks like Mercedes have a bigger chance of domination compared to how redbull looked at the start of last year, but will their drivers be able to reach the consistent high level performance that vettel produced? and will Mercedes develop their car at a faster rate then their rivals this year? in the past 5 years they have not (both the drivers and the team).

  9. Guenther SF
    28th March 2014, 8:28

    Once again, Hulk hammered Checo….

  10. Who cares about noise, these cars are so much more exciting to watch with oodles of torque and twitchy rears than those of yesteryear with blown diffusers.

    1. Exactly !

    2. Exactly Exactly! I love to hear those tyre screeches…

    3. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      28th March 2014, 11:47

      @sars – I for one think it sounds better than the “fizz-pop-‘n’-bang” year of 2011…

    4. @sars @william-brierty Definitely more exciting than 2013 ! Also add to the soundtrack tyre screeches which I have never heard in f1 before .

  11. They have the pace of last years fastest lap – although last year was a little wet at the beginning.

  12. The amount of typos are becoming unbearable, Kieth. In this day and age spell checking software is available everywhere.. Look for the red underlinings, Kieth.

    1. Ironic then, that you have a double full point in your post.

      1. even better, can’t spell Keith!!! those that cast the first stone and alike

      2. Well , i guess you have to correct yourself first , Its “Keith” not “Kieth”.

      3. More embarrasing than the fact that you are trying to complain about someone who has prepared an article within minutes of the session ending is the fact that you, Rambler, have made so many mistakes yourself.

        For the record, “Kieth” = Keith (the clue is the third line “by Keith Collantine”). Secondly, “in this day and age” is a subordinate clause which needs to be separated from the main clause with a comma. Finally, sentences usually finish with one full stop, not two.

        Apart from that, either conduct yourself with a modicum of respect for the people who provide so much for free or go elsewhere.

        1. Epic response . LOL .

    2. I think you were just emphatically put in your place. Ramble on…

      1. Wow the lack of sarcasm detection in the replies is strong in this thread …

        1. please enlighten me, how is spelling someones name wrong sarcastic

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      28th March 2014, 14:53

      F1Fanatics vs Rambler:

      – F1Fanatics use ‘beat down’. It’s SUPER EFFECTIVE!!!

  13. One thing to remember is that last year Hamilton reached his fuel limit a shade sooner than Rosberg and the latter could easily have passed had he been allowed to do so. This year “fuel management” is a more significant issue and towards the end of the race it is likely to play a role.
    I still think that Rosberg will finish this race ahead of Hamilton. Where that fits in with rest of the drivers remains to be seen.

    1. It is hard to say how much fuel they had in the cars at the start, sometimes there is an asymmetric fuel load.
      Its also not set in stone that Rosberg is better and managing fuel. Even during FP2 Rosberg was being advised to lift and coast at a specific point in the braking zone.

      1. Loup, that may have something to do with Hamilton pushing the Red Bulls at the beginning of the race whereas Rosberg was preserving. I don’t think that it is necessarily inherent to each driver.

        1. Yeah, I read that on the Autosport article about the Mercedes team orders in the week! Hamiltion was told yo go flat out earlier in the race to push the bulls and it bit him later on! Hence why Ross wanted Lewis to stay in front when Rosberg caught him at the end!

          1. Ross Brawn was playing the party line, keep the highest paid driver ahead – his reason he said is pathetic – driving hard at the start, or at the end… it all evens out… rosberg was racing slower at the start, so why not let race faster at the end?????? why hold position? it was one of the stupidest team orders I have ever seen, the order should have been to Hamilton to let Rosberg past if he tries to make a pass. i have a feeling Mercedes will do it again to rosberg this year… but I hope that it is not the case, I hope it was only the unsportsman Brawn factor which caused the team orders last year, so early in the season, so ridiculous. Brawn always put a political spin on any stupid thing he did.

        2. @aledinho
          Rosberg was faster than Hamilton earlier in the race also.

  14. Happy to see the Ferraris in a better shape!

  15. It’s a good thing that the cars are very close, at least in FP that is. I’m also glad to see Kimi in a good shape. I hope that we will see a close racing in Sunday, not the 20+ seconds differences between leaders and the rest of the field.

  16. Vettel Fan Boy
    28th March 2014, 9:21

    Like last year ,the Mercedes will be a tyre eater and the RB10 which is kind on its tyres will easily win.

  17. Red Bull’s form was pretty promising yet again. I figured Australia may have been slightly unrepresentative due to the circuit characteristics, but they seem quick on this – a more “standard” circuit.

  18. It may become common to see FinnGerman, Finn, German, in the top.

    1. Don’t forget Bottas! ;)

      1. He *did* say Finn two times, I don’t know how that could be misinterpreted as not counting Bottas in, as there’s only 2 Finns driving…

        Disclaimer: N. Rosberg doesn’t count

        1. Did you even get what @erix was saying? Rosberg is a Finn-German, Kimi is a Finn, and Vettel is a German. And that’s the order of today’s FP2.

        2. I think FinnGerman means Rosberg.

  19. Was it just me, or do the cars sound much better this weekend? I imagine FOM have been tweaking their microphones, because on my stream the cars’ volumes weren’t a problem at all.

    1. Vic (@hendrix666)
      28th March 2014, 15:21

      I thought the same. Or it only took a week for me to adjust to the new sound. Either way, sounded better than AUS.

  20. Did anyone see the ‘wobble’ that Hamilton had with his front right in FP2? Was wondering if that was a normal thing, or if it had something to do with a flat-spot or possibly even a mechanical issue…

  21. 11th straight wins for the Germans?

  22. Good to see Kimi near the top. Looks like Ferrari and Red Bull may actually give Merc a run for their money.

  23. Nice to see the Kimster starting to get to grips with car with Fernando there or thereabouts . Red Bull are coming but I think as of now the Mercs still have the edge. But there tyre wear may be an issue but if there quick enough they should be able to 3 stop.

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