Lewis Hamilton and his ‘chrome’ McLaren finished both free practice sessions on top, in preparation for this Sunday’s race at the Sepang International Circuit. In the first session the 2008 World Champion set a lap time of 1:34.921 which positioned him in front of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton’s teammate, fellow Brit Jenson Button finished the session in third position ahead of Michael Schumacher. The German who was part of the Petronas Pit Pulse demonstration had problems with brakes during the session but managed to recover.
Robert Kubica, podium finisher at the Australian GP settled for fifth place for Renault. He was closely followed by Red Bull’s Mark Webber, Force India’s Adrian Sutil, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel as well as Sebastien Buemi from Toro Rosso who rounded off the top ten.
Lotus Racing is still proving that it is the team to beat among the new comers with Jarno Trulli’s 19th position, although the team still has a lot to do before it can challenge older and more established teams. He was a about 1.2 seconds quicker than Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock. Lucas Di Grassi finished 21st fastest while Lotus’ third driver Fairuz Fauzy managed 22nd. The Hispania duo of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok filled the final two spots.
Hamilton was still the fastest driver during the second session ahead of Vettel and Rosberg. Button was fourth followed by 7 times World Champion Michael Schumacher. Kubica, Alonso, Buemi, Petrov and Sutil made up the rest of the top ten. Webber had to settle with 20th position as his Red Bull suffered from an engine problem.
This allowed both Lotus drivers including Trulli and Kovalainen to finish in 18th and 19th places respectively. Fairuz Fauzy handed the steering wheel back to Kovalainen and later revealed to BBC that he may score a race drive sometime this season although there is no official confirmation on this. Both Virgin drivers along with both Hispania men finished in the final four.