Practice One - Webber sets the pace in Malaysia 22 Mar 2013
Practice for the 2013 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix got off to a slow start in warm conditions in Sepang on Friday morning, as Mark Webber set the pace by a fraction from Australian Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen.
It took the best part of 30 minutes before any real times were set, and after Lewis Hamilton and then Nico Rosberg had set the pace for Mercedes, Webber and Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel took over.
As many drivers then focused on long runs on the orange-marked hard tyres, Webbers 1m 36.935s remained the sessions best time. Raikkonen had problems with a sensor on his Lotuss KERS battery, which prevented him running for a long time, but he then banged in a 1m 37.003s, just 0.068s off the Australian.
Vettel was third on 1m 37.104s from Fernando Alonso, who lapped his Ferrari in 1m 37.319s. Rosberg was next on 1m 37.588s from Adrian Sutils Force India on 1m 37.769s, Felipe Massas Ferrari on 1m 37.771s, Paul di Restas Force India on 1m 37.773s, Hamilton on 1m 37.840s and Romain Grosjeans Lotus on 1m 37.915s.
There were few incidents among the frontrunners; Alonso locked up and ran wide on one lap at Turn 1, and Sutil damaged his front-wing endplate after running too far over the kerb exiting the final corner.
Further back, Esteban Gutierrez spun his Sauber going into Turn 14, but ended up just behind team mate Nico Hulkenberg who has a new car after his fuel system problems in Melbourne. The German posted 1m 39.054s, the Mexican 1m 39.204s. That left them 14th and 15th, behind Jenson Button in 11th on 1m 38.173s in the troubled McLaren MP4-28, Pastor Maldonado on 1m 38.673s for Williams and Sergio Perez who set his 1m 38.830s very early in the session in his McLaren.
Valtteri Bottas was 16th on 1m 39.208s in the other Williams and headed the Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo on 1m 39.284s and 1m 39.567s respectively. Giedo van der Garde rose to the occasion for Caterham with 1m 40.728s, which left him just ahead of fellow rookie Jules Bianchi who was learning the track on his way to 1m 40.996s in the Marussia. Charles Pic was 21st in the second Caterham, on 1m 41.163s, with Max Chilton 22nd in the other Marussia on 1m 41.513s, another time that was set early on.
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