Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2016

Rosberg leads for Mercedes as Magnussen suffers fire

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix first practice

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Nico Rosberg comfortably led the first practice session at the revised Sepang International Circuit.

However the 90-minute session was red-flagged for a quarter of an hour due to a serious fire on Kevin Magnussen’s Renault. The fire broke out after Magnussen’s first installation lap in the opening minutes of practice.

Kevin Magnussen, Renault, Sepang International Circuit, 2016
Magnussen’s car caught fire in the pits
It took several minutes for the Renault mechanics to bring the fire under control. Magnussen did not return to the track during the session but team mate Jolyon Palmer was able to take part.

Due to the delay drivers were given extra time to use their initial set of tyres. Once running resumed the Mercedes drivers quickly took to the top of the time. Rosberg’s best time was over a second quicker than any of the team’s rivals could manage and 4.9 seconds faster than the best time from the same session last year.

Both the W07 drivers had minor offs during practice as they got to grips with the fully resurfaced circuit. Lewis Hamilton ended the session almost half a second down on his team mate.

There was much less between the two Ferrari drivers. Kimi Raikkonen was the quicker of the two, Sebastian Vettel complaining about poor tyre balance on one of his runs.

Fernando Alonso, who is using Honda’s new power unit for the first time this weekend, set the fifth-quickest time, putting his McLaren ahead of both Red Bulls. Jenson Button, who is still using the previous version, was tenth behind the Force Indias.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’35.22725
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’35.7210.49425
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’36.3151.08816
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’36.3311.10418
514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’36.5101.28318
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’36.7531.52627
733Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’36.9731.74626
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’37.5132.28626
911Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’37.6012.37427
1022Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’37.6132.38620
1126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’37.8472.62029
1277Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’37.8612.63417
138Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’37.8862.65922
1421Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’37.9212.69420
1555Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’38.0552.82825
1612Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’38.1842.95718
179Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’38.3133.08620
1819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’38.3393.11224
1930Jolyon PalmerRenault1’39.1483.92123
2031Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’40.0364.80928
2194Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’40.6275.40026

First practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’35.227

+0.494 Lewis Hamilton – 1’35.721

+1.088 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’36.315

+1.104 Sebastian Vettel – 1’36.331

+1.283 Fernando Alonso – 1’36.510

+1.526 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’36.753

+1.746 Max Verstappen – 1’36.973

+2.286 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’37.513

+2.374 Sergio Perez – 1’37.601

+2.386 Jenson Button – 1’37.613

+2.620 Daniil Kvyat – 1’37.847

+2.634 Valtteri Bottas – 1’37.861

+2.659 Romain Grosjean – 1’37.886

+2.694 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’37.921

+2.828 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’38.055

+2.957 Felipe Nasr – 1’38.184

+3.086 Marcus Ericsson – 1’38.313

+3.112 Felipe Massa – 1’38.339

+3.921 Jolyon Palmer – 1’39.148

+4.809 Esteban Ocon – 1’40.036

+5.400 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’40.627

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Author information

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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7 comments on “Rosberg leads for Mercedes as Magnussen suffers fire”

  1. If the McLaren Honda team can keep moving up it would be absolutely amazing.

    Now I just hope they change liveries.

    1. It would be a miracle if they are ahead of Red-Bull on Saturday or Sunday. They have been promising in Q1 in the past plus this was a disturbed practise session. They have a long way to go.

    2. It’s a very impressive time but looking at their Sunday results, reliability remains an issue. A couple of good points finishes for Alonso, but it’s every other race, and Jenson’s best result in six races is an 8th

    3. Well, I guess Alonso will have to “move up” and will be able to do so after starting from the back with the new engine Mike!

    4. In real life I think it’s one of the prettiest!

    5. I think the current livery is badass

  2. Super hot lap by Magnussen.

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