In what turned out to be an usual FP1 session at Sepang, Drivers completed their usual schedule with the exception of Grosjean who stopped out on the track in the first 30 mins, Perez who had issues with his car and Maldonado who had a Engine related issue. Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets with a lap of 1:40:691.
Several drivers had their moments including the likes of Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil and Kevin Magnussen who all spun out. Thanks to the extra tyres in the first 30 minutes, there was hectic activity on the track with the exception of few drivers who were confined to the garage. Neither of the Red Bull drivers set a timed lap in the first 30 minutes, and Vettel's first timed lap was 50 minutes into the session. The young Kvyat also failed to set a timed lap in the first 30 minutes but he maintained a steady laptimes while he was out in the ciruit.
The Track Temperatures started off in the late 30's and went upto 49 degrees towards the end of the session, and teams used the opportunity to test their cars in the intense conditions that might be again come into effect in the Sunday's race.
Both the Caterham drivers ventured into the Free Practice sessions, and they had some laps under their belt as compared to the previous weekend in Melbourne where they were really struggling to last one full stint. Ericsson who had a off in sector 17 managed to set 24 laps under him. Kobayashi was again unfortunate for being forced to spend time in the garage but still had 5 laps under him.
Both the Sauber's had a strong showing at the Free Practice sessions with Sutil managing to gather data from the 21 laps that he performed, and Esteban who had several practice starts at the exit of the pitlane contributing 23 laps to the add to the team's mileage.
Meanwhile, the defending champions had to again rely on Ricciardo as the man for gathering data to the team's tally. Ricciardo lasted for 20 laps while Vettel who was slotted into P7 managed to add 7 laps to his tally. At the top though, Mercedes are looking stronger yet again, with the longer straights adding to the team's strength, Lewis topped the charts with Nico in P3. Williams who were thought to be the pre season favourites to challenge Mercedes for the title were left to round off the Top 10, with Massa outclassing his Finnish teammate by a few tenths to secure P9. The surprise man into the mix is Kimi Raikkonen in P2. The Finn who was visibly struggling in the previous race weekend, managed to add 20 laps to his mileage, and apart from few odd mistakes, he looked fairly comfortable as compared to the previous weekend.
It's going to be an interesting FP2. The weather is already overcast , and with the unpredictable Malaysian weather into play, it's important for the teams to gather maximum mileage before the crucial race. The likes of Lotus would surely be working hard to gather some mileage and hope to finish in a respectable position or at least manage to avoid yet another DNF. It's also crucial for Vettel to add more laps to his tally.