By Daniel Wilson.
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in second practice ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, despite engine and telemetry issues throughout Friday.
The reigning world champion set a time of 1:39.790 on the medium compound tyre as teammate Nico Rosberg struggled to hook up a clean lap, ending up in P3 after topping the morning session.
Hamilton’s Mercedes came to a stop as a lack of telemetry meant the team advised against him returning to the pits and risking the engine, after the Briton reported a click in the rear of the car.
The 30-year-old also missed the first part of second practice as the team re-assembled the car.
Ferrari continued their form from Melbourne as Kimi Raikkonen went second fastest in both sessions, with teammate Vettel spending more time in the garage with radiator problems and a spin on track in the afternoon.
The heat and humidity of the Sepang circuit proved challenging for everyone as a lack of grip saw Rosberg struggle with rear traction and a lack of front-end grip for Roberto Merhi, who spun out in FP2.
However, it was still a mighty effort by the Manor Marussia team who finally got out on track after sitting in the garage in Australia, but a lot of work remains for the team to be competitive.
It’s a similar story at McLaren, who welcomed back Fernando Alonso following his crash in testing. The Spaniard, who revealed the cause of his accident was in fact a fault with the steering and not driver-error, edged out Jenson Button; but the team finished 16th and 17th despite steps forward in performance.
Red Bull’s troubles continued as Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat had limited running due to ongoing troubles with the Renault power unit, placing further strain on the relationship between the two companies.
Meanwhile, Williams had a more conservative run on Friday as Valterri Bottas returned to the cockpit.However, the team still look like being behind Ferrari on outright pace.
Does Lewis’ issue give Nico the psychological edge?
Has Alonso’s revelation about his accident thrown McLaren into PR chaos?
Are Manor Marussia on the right tracks?
Leave your thoughts and comments below!