Vettel fastest as Grosjean crashes at Sepang

Sebastian Vettel was fastest after Friday practice

Sebastian Vettel ended Friday’s running fastest ahead of Sunday’s Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix despite enduring two interrupted practice sessions.

Opening practice was initially ‘indefinitely’ delayed as heavy rain battered the circuit, before a crash from Romain Grosjean drew the red flag towards the end of Practice 2.

Pic: Fox Sports

Grosjean’s crash was caused by a piece of the drain cover at the penultimate corner, which had been lifted by Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas just moments earlier.

The Haas driver ran over the exposed grate, pulling the right rear tyre from the rim pitching him into the barriers.

To that point, Vettel had set the fastest time with a 1:31.261s lap, more than half a second faster than Raikkonen.

The two Red Bull’s were next best, Daniel Ricciardo narrowly faster than Max Verstappen who had topped the morning’s rain-shortened session.

Mercedes endured a torrid start to the weekend, with excursions for both Bottas and Lewis Hamilton interrupting their sessions.

Bottas ran wide at Turn 10, damaging the floor on his Mercedes as he bounced through the gravel, while Hamilton had a half spin at Turn 8 which saw him ruin a set of tyres.

With opening practice all but washed out, the team is now heavily compromised heading into final practice tomorrow as it looks to fine-tune its setup for qualifying and Sunday’s race.

The damage to the circuit caused by the Grosjean incident saw the red flag shown with 15-minutes remaining and not restarted as repairs were affected.

It left Vettel on top from Raikkonen with Alonso fifth best, the McLaren driver having been third fastest in opening practice.

Hamilton could do no better than sixth, one place ahead of his team-mate while the top ten was completed by Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon.

Result: Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix Practice 2

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m31.261s 23
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m31.865s 0.604s 19
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m32.099s 0.838s 19
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m32.109s 0.848s 11
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m32.564s 1.303s 14
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m32.677s 1.416s 15
7 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m32.720s 1.459s 21
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m32.862s 1.601s 20
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m33.060s 1.799s 24
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m33.096s 1.835s 24
11 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m33.381s 2.12s 26
12 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m33.394s 2.133s 20
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m33.673s 2.412s 15
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m33.818s 2.557s 16
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1m34.043s 2.782s 22
16 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m34.104s 2.843s 19
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m34.118s 2.857s 18
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m34.343s 3.082s 17
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.246s 3.985s 29
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.697s 4.436s 27

Result: Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix Practice 1

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m48.962s 11
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m49.719s 0.757s 12
3 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m50.597s 1.635s 6
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m50.734s 1.772s 12
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m51.009s 2.047s 12
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m51.518s 2.556s 8
7 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m52.007s 3.045s 10
8 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m52.295s 3.333s 9
9 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1m52.380s 3.418s 14
10 Sergey Sirotkin Renault 1m53.521s 4.559s 10
11 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m53.625s 4.663s 10
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m53.771s 4.809s 10
13 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m53.896s 4.934s 6
14 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso/Renault 1m54.610s 5.648s 13
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m54.669s 5.707s 4
16 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m55.280s 6.318s 10
17 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m55.652s 6.690s 10
18 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m56.211s 7.249s 8
19 Antonio Giovinazzi Haas/Ferrari 1m56.339s 7.377s 6
20 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 3

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