Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in Sepang

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix first practice

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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.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’40.69119
27Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’40.8430.15220
36Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.0280.33719
422Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.1110.42020
520Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.2740.58318
625Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’41.4020.71115
71Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’41.5230.8329
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’41.6420.95119
919Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’41.6860.99523
1077Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’41.8301.13922
1114Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’41.9231.23214
123Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’42.1171.42620
1399Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’42.3651.67421
1426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’42.8692.17821
1521Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’42.9042.21323
1617Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’43.8253.13418
179Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’45.7755.08424
184Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’46.9116.22010
1910Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’51.18010.48910
2011Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes2
2113Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault2
228Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault4

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Hamilton puts Mercedes on top in Sepang”

  1. Kimi was nowhere to be found earlier while Alo was beasting. As soon as the dust kick in and became oversteery, Kimi came b alive while Alo spun.

    Gonna be a headache for team in term of choosing the right path for car development when their drivers are so polar opposite from each other on and off track.

    Good fun for fans though.

  2. Mercs are going to blow everyone away! :(

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      28th March 2014, 4:14

      I’d like to see some closer racing for the lead, so hopefully Lewis and Nico can battle it out. But at the same time, it’s really nice to see Red Bull get a taste of their own medicine for once.

      1. Practice 1 times already tell the winner eh?

      2. Mercedes domination is far more entertaining than Red Bull dominated because we actually have an interesting scrap for the WDC.

        1. Like that interesting Hamilton-Rosberg scrap for 3rd place last year?

  3. Expected from Merc and Lewis. My money is still on Rosberg for the win again this weekend.

  4. Really sad to see such a meltdown (nearly literally too) by Lotus. Guess it’s a glaringly obvious statement that their money problems during development and top key personnel losses haven’t done them any good.

  5. Not too many laps by any of the drivers, looks like they don’t want to stress their engines.

    1. @adrianmorse

      so true. It’s ironic, each car is given an extra set of tires in FP1 to encourage more running, but because they have so few engines (or PUs) this year and reliability is such a huge issue, teams are running less. Engine limited, not tire limited as in the past.

      Teams should be given 1 or 2 engines that they can use for FP on Friday’s, that don’t count against their total.

      1. Alexander (@)
        28th March 2014, 6:06

        @uan @adrianmorse Actually only Vettel did over 20 laps last year so most drivers got plenty of laps!

  6. I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed watching a free practice session this much. Every time a car was on screen, it was sliding, locking wheels, and generally doing things we haven’t seen in the past few years. Let’s hope this is due to the new rules instead of just a slippery track.

    1. I do hope it goes back to racing car “drivers” instead of racing car “steerers”.

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

    OOPs first pratice it should say.

    1. Sorry my bad..need a coffee

Comments are closed.