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Practice Two - Hamilton sets the Friday pace at Sepang 21 Mar 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 21 March 2008 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 21 March 2008 Jenson Button (GBR) Honda RA108.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 21 March 2008 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR02.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 21 March 2008

His gear selection problems from this morning rectified, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton grabbed the fastest time of the day from Ferrari with 10 minutes left of this afternoon’s Malaysian Grand Prix practice session.

Running the softer Bridgestone compound, the Briton lapped his MP4-23 in 1m 35.055s to duck beneath Felipe Massa’s 1m 35.206s, which had been the benchmark up to that point. The Brazilian tried hard but was unable to match him thereafter. Kimi Raikkonen’s 1m 35.428s lap was sufficient to leave him third in the order in the second F2008.

Right at the end Jenson Button supplanted Sebastian Vettel, the young German having run in the top four for much of the session after lapping his Toro Rosso in 1m 36.474s. That was a fillip for the team, which lost Sebastien Bourdais early on to what appeared to be a transmission problem as he left the pits. Button’s lap of 1m 36.037s was encouraging for Honda, but like several others in the upper echelons, probably owed much to a light fuel load.

Jarno Trulli’s Toyota was sixth on 1m 36.493s, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen in the second McLaren on 1m 36.512s, Robert Kubica’s BMW Sauber on 1m 36.671s, Giancarlo Fisichella’s Force India on 1m 36.756s, and Kazuki Nakajima’s Williams on 1m 36.838s.

That completed the top 10, but Rubens Barrichello also took the second Honda round below 1m 37s with 1m 36.879s and Nico Rosberg, who was quick initially, was 12th on 1m 36.908s ahead of Nick Heidfeld (1m 37.106s), the Renaults of Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet (1m 328s and 1m 37.331s), Red Bull’s Mark Webber (1m 37.346s) and Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 37.512s). At the back, Force India’s Adrian Sutil was 18th on 1m 38.614s from Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson in the Super Aguris (1m 39.021s and 1m 39.361s respectively).

David Coulthard did not participate in the session after his morning accident, as the Red Bull team preferred to analyse its cause and to prepare the car fully for Saturday morning.