Ecclestone: F1 sale reports are “rubbish”

According to some news sources, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is in talks to purchase F1 with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim also linked to the negotiations. Sky News has reported that even if News Corp does not buy F1, they may look into buying the broadcasting rights instead.

However Bernie Ecclestone has refuted these claims stating that the sport is not for sale and describing the story as “rubbish”.

“It’s rubbish,” Ecclestone told the Telegraph newspaper. “The sport is not for sale.”

CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm, bought the sport for over $2.5 billion several years ago.

The BBC’s broadcasting contract ends in 2013 and it is thought that News Corp might attempt to bid for these rights when the contract expires.

Perez Apologies To Sutil

Sergio Perez has apologised to Adrian Sutil after the two collided during the weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

“”I’m very sorry for the accident with Adrian,” Perez began. “I am sorry for him and sorry for my team.

“At this time in the race I wanted to get the most out of my tyres as I was under pressure from Vitaly. Unfortunately I lost the rear when I was already on the inside of Adrian and I crashed into him.”

The crash saw Perez receive a penalty during the race and meant that Sutil was forced to pit in order to get a new front wing.

Sutil is quite circumspect over the incident and has admitted that although the clash ruined his race, he was struggling with the tyres anyway.

“I was unlucky with the incident with Perez, which cost me the race,” Sutil commented. “But in the end we had problems as well with the tyres. They didn’t last as long as we thought and I was just struggling the whole time.

“We have to understand why we weren’t so competitive in the race this time. In qualifying we were much better so we will go away, analyse everything.

“I think it is good that we have the break now before the next race in Europe.”

Kovalainen: China was our best ever performance

Heikki Kovalainen has hailed today’s race in China as Lotus’ “best ever performance.” Although Lotus have had higher-placed finishes in the past, Kovalainen believes that today was the their most competitive race to day. The Finn finished in 16th place with his team-mate Trulli in 19th.

“That is our best ever performance,” Kovalainen commented. “It isn’t the highest place we have had but today we beat two midfield cars in a straight fight so I am vey happy with my performance and the performance of the whole team.

Kovalainen has also revealed that the warmer temperatures seen at the track today was to their advantage.

“We knew we would struggle in the cool conditions yesterday but today the temperatures rose and we expected to be able to put in the sort of race that would do justice to the pace that is in the car.

“We will keep working hard to improve the car’s behaviour in the cooler conditions and we can only get better from here.”

Massa: We Picked The Wrong Strategy

Felipe Massa has said today’s Chinese Grand Prix, where he finished sixth, was one of the best races he has driven recently.

“I’m very, very happy with my performance,” Massa explained to the BBC. “It was the best race for me this year – one of the best compared to last year as well.

“It’s a shame because we could have finished in the top, and it was not possible. We finished the race. I did my best but, it was not enough to make everybody happy, not just me.”

Massa explained that with hindsight, a three-stop strategy was the one to have picked and that it was a shame that he ran a two-stop strategy.
“At the end of the day they [the three-stopped] chose the right strategy. Not just Lewis, four cars together.

“All these cars passed me very easily. Even the guy who dominated the race, which was Sebastian, didn’t win because of his strategy, which was the same as mine.

“It shows that we didn’t pick the right one. My pace on the soft was great, even similar to Sebastian, and we took that as a consideration that maybe we were able to do one less stop.

“Looking at everybody stopping straight away, we took the decision already in the first stint and unfortunately it didn’t work like we expected.”

Hamilton Wins China Thriller

In the most exciting race of the season so far as McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton ended Sebastian Vettel’s 2011 winning streak.

Mark Webber drove a stonking race finishing an impressive 3rd having started from 18th on the grid ahead of the second McLaren of Jenson Button.

Before the race start there was a scare for Lewis Hamilton when his car flooded in the garage leaving mechanics scrambling to get it started in time for the race. Eventually, the Brit made it out of the garage with seconds to spare a testament to the McLaren pit mechanics.

Vettel, who began the day on pole, had a poor start allowing both McLarens to pass him at the first corner. Although Rosberg also challenged hard, Vettel was able to hold him off. Mercedes brought Rosberg in on Lap 12 to allow the German fresh tyres and clean air.

Hamilton’s tyres then began to go off allowing Vettel to pass thanks to the DRS wing. Button and Vettel then pitted together however Button’s concentration lapsed and he pulled into the Red Bull pit stop box before realising his error and moving onto McLarens. Despite the mix up, the Red Bull team worked well and managed to get Vettel out ahead of Button.

On his in-lap, Hamilton was passed by Ferrari’s Felipe Massa whilst Rosberg found that his early pitstop found him in the lead, ahead of Vettel by 5 seconds with Button, Massa and Hamilton close behind.

The McLarens decided to opt for a three-stop strategy, whilst Vettel went for a two-stop. At the half way stage, Vettel and Massa were fourth and fifth behind Rosberg and the McLarens however everyone was lapping at a pretty even pace meaning the three-stopped were unable to eke out the advantage that they needed.

Hamilton was having a fantastic race, quickly passing his team-mate on lap 35 before catching the two-stopping Rosberg. He then caught and passed Massa with ease. By lap 50, he had caught Vettel however it was another couple of laps before he found a way past the German.

Rosberg then found that his tyres were just too old to resist the three-stopping cars. On trying to pass Massa, he ran wide and was overtaken by Button who then quickly overtook the Ferrari too.

Meanwhile, Mark Webber was having an outstanding race. His first stint on hard tyres saw him do little however he chose to make three stops leaving his soft tyres until the last stint. This strategy was a stroke of genius as it found him with a massive performance advantage as the rest of the field was on hard tyres. At one point, the Australian was lapping at around 3 seconds faster than anyone else on the track. On the penultimate lap, he caught and overtook Jenson Button earning himself a podium finish.

The only retirement of the day was the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari who lost a wheel following a pit stop, narrowly avoiding marshals and photographers. His team-mate also had a disappointing race finishing 14th overall.

Paul di Resta did well managing to finish 11th. His team-mate Adrian Sutil had his race spoilt when the Sauber of Sergio Perez slid into him.

2011 Chinese Grand Prix – Provisional Race Results
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h36:58.226
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 5.198
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 7.555
4. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 10.000
5. Rosberg Mercedes + 13.448
6. Massa Ferrari + 15.840
7. Alonso Ferrari + 30.622
8. Schumacher Mercedes + 31.206
9. Petrov Renault + 57.404
10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:03.273
11. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:08.757
12. Heidfeld Renault + 1:12.739
13. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:30.189
14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:30.671
15. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
16. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 1 lap
17. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
18. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
19. Trulli Lotus-Renault + 1 lap
20. D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
22. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps
23. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth + 2 laps

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:38.993

Vettel wins Malaysian thriller

Sebastian Vettel today won an exciting Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Jenson Button and Nick Heidfeld.

The German was his now usual magisterial self in conditions that demanded finesse and speed in equal measure. Challenged by his competitors and hampered by his team’s instruction not to use his KERS, Vettel was nevertheless capable of finding new speed when he needed it.

Jenson Button was second after a solid afternoon charge once the tyres came to him. The Englishman revelled in the Malaysian heat that wore down everybody’s tyres and left “marbles” all over the Sepang track.

Nick Heidfeld was an excellent third for Renault that demonstrates their early season form. The German got a fantastic start and remained in contention throughout the race. Although threatened by fourth-placed Mark Webber towards the end, Heidfeld stayed calm and took the final podium position.

Webber gave a typically battling performance to end up fourth, having stopped four times. He too did not have the option of KERS available to him but made do in determined fashion.

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso went over the line fifth and sixth. Despite their lack of frontrunning pace the Italian team were much faster in race trim than they had been in qualifying, Massa in particular looking combative all afternoon. Alonso was unlucky in that he had one poor pit stop and also came together with Lewis Hamilton while battling him at the denouement of the race, forcing him to pit to change his damaged front wing.

Lewis Hamilton had a day to forget, a middle stint on hard tyres gravely affecting his speed and rendering him vulnerable to all and sundry behind him. Earlier on he had looked as though he might be capable of challenging Vettel for the win but his dislike of the hard tyres was ultimately his undoing.

Kamui Kobayashi was an excellent eighth for the Sauber team, fighting all afternoon with Michael Schumacher who must be encouraged by a strong points finish, even if the Mercedes is not yet at the same pace as the front four teams’ cars.

Paul di Resta was the last of the points finishers, bringing his Force India-Mercedes home after another strong performance.

Elsewhere in the race’s stories, Vitaly Petrov was lucky to escape injury after a sizeable and scary accident in his Renault. He had run wide at Turn 5 and instead of taking the shortest route back to the track he elected to floor the throttle and ease back onto the track. He was not to know that a raised rain gully lay there and promptly took off, landing so hard that his steering wheel came off.

Petrov was classified, but others retirements included both Williamses and both HRTs, the Lotus of Jarno Trulli and the Virgin of Jerome d’Ambrosio.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS

The Malaysian Grand Prix
Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
56 laps; 310.408km;
Weather: Dry.

Classified:

Pos Driver Team Time
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h37:39.832
2. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 3.261
3. Heidfeld Renault + 25.075
4. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 26.384
5. Massa Ferrari + 36.958
6. Alonso Ferrari + 37.248
7. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 49.957
8. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1:07.239
9. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:24.896
10. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:31.563
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:45.000
12. Rosberg Mercedes + 1 lap
13. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
14. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
15. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault + 1 lap
16. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 2 laps
17. Petrov Renault + 4 laps

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:40.571

Not classified/retirements:

Driver Team On lap
Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 47
D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 43
Trulli Lotus-Renault 32
Perez Sauber-Ferrari 24
Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 23
Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 15
Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 9

Malaysian GP 2011 – as it happened

8.45am Good morning and welcome to forumula1.com’s live coverage of the Malaysian Grand Prix 2011.

The news this morning is that there doesn’t seem to be any imminent possibility of rain, although it is overcast. The latest predictions have thunderstorms coming mid-afternoon. What is most interesting about all this is that no one really knows how the Pirelli tyres will work in the wet.

“The rain could help,” concedes Vitaly Petrov in an interview with the BBC, starting from eighth in the Renault.

8.53am It’s now seven minutes before the start and spots of water are starting to appear. Even if the rain doesn’t come down, tyres could still play a part. It is cooler than yesterday in Malaysia and so wear is unlikely to be so pronounced, but nevertheless it will probably be a talking point.

People have been justifiedly wittering all weekend about how hard it is for the drivers, with the heat. The humidity is currently 83%. David Coulthard says that drivers can expect their core temperature to go up to 40 deg C during the race. Stifling.

8.57am “It’s currently raining 4km away from the circuit,” says the BBC’s Ted Kravitz as the cars depart on their formation lap. It will be a dry start, however.

8.59am Mark Webber has radioed the Red Bull team, saying that he has a problem. We are all in the dark as to what it is or how significant it is as yet.

Lap 1 And they’re off! The field pounds down to the first corner and Nick Heidfeld had a great start. Mark Webber not so much – he’s down to tenth….Heidfeld is second!

Lap 2 It’s Vettel, Heidfeld, Hamilton at the front. Then Button, Petrov, Massa, Alonso, Schumacher.

Lap 3 DRS enabled and Vettel leads by 2.4 seconds. There’s been contact between Maldonado and Perez as the whole field scraps over the same piece of tarmac.

Webber had a terrible start and was swallowed by the pack as he made his way down to Turn 1. He did not use his KERS, which may have been the problem we referred to earlier. The Renaults positively flew off the line and now sit second and fifth.

Williams’ Rubens Barrichello has a puncture and will have to pit.

Lap 4 It’s formation flying at the moment.

Lap 5 Petrov loses a place to Massa, and now goes off track before the penultimate straight! Alonso is through. Petrov recovers but Schumacher is on his tail.

Lap 6 Schumacher gets told to look after his rubber.

Lap 7 The order is Vettel, Heidfeld, Hamilton, Button, Massa, Alonso, Petrov, Schumacher, Kobayashi, Webber, Alguersuari and Buemi, Rosberg, di Resta, Perez, Maldonado.

Lap 8 Webber and Kobayashi are battling it out, their relative strengths and weaknesses meaning they occupy exactly the same piece of track. Webber got past on the pit straight last time round but Kobayashi used his KERS to get back past.

Lap 9 Hamilton is harrying Heidfeld now. Maldonado pits.

Lap 10 Vettel is entering phase two, or so he says over the team radio. This means, roughly translated, that his tyres are going to the dogs. The amount of marbling that is happening is very evident already; ten laps in we can see lots of rubber piling up on the penultimate straight.

Webber pits. I would.

Lap 11 “Look after the tyres if you can’t get past,” McLaren advise Lewis. There are spots of rain starting to appear on camera lenses now.

Lap 12 Massa and Alonso are catching Button.

Lap 13 Lewis Hamilton pits, which is strategic because he is a bit stuck behind Heidfeld. The idea is to get him some clear air so he can leapfrog the German into second once he pits.

Lap 13 It is now raining.

Lap 14 Vettel and Button pit, both going on to dry tyres despite the rain. Heidfeld has also pitted, and he is out behind Button!

Lap 14 The rain is coming down, but word is that it will be brief.

Lap 15 Hamilton overtakes Buemi and Schumacher in one breathtaking move at the last corner. Amazing.

Lap 15 Massa had a torrid stop, a sticky front left costing him big time. Red Bull tell Vettel that they are on “Plan B”. Purposely obfuscating? If I were FOM I’d have a word with the Milton Keynes team; no-one has any idea what they’re on about at the moment.

Lap 16 Alonso passes Button! Candy from a baby, that. Button doesn’t seem to be able to put up a fight.

Lap 17 The order is Vettel, Hamilton, yet-to-pit Kobayashi, Alonso, Button, Heidfeld, Webber, Massa, Petrov, di Resta.

Lap 18 Kobayashi pits, rendering the order a bit more representative. He emerges into tenth or thereabouts….11th actually, behind Schumacher.

Lap 19 Vettel’s margin is 5.9 seconds from Hamilton, and the Brit leads Alonso by a further four and a half seconds.

Hamilton is hunting that Red Bull down, though, taking six tenths out of the German that last lap.

The rain in the pitlane has stopped – it was the briefest of showers. Hasn’t really had any concrete effect on the racing.

Lap 20 A piece of something just fell off the back of Petrov’s Renault. This can not be good.

Lap 21 The cars are driving on a grey ribbon of tarmac between carpets of marbles. Nothing else is happening.

Lap 22 Webber is being hustled by Massa. As is their wont, Red Bull cryptically tell the Australian that they are sticking with Plan A. Massa has little time for this tomfoolery and passes him for sixth.

Lap 23 Vettel lost another six tenths to Hamilton on that last lap. Webber pits – it sounds like Plan A is a four stop strategy. With no KERS I don’t know if any strategy would help him.

Fifth-placed Nick Heidfeld has a little off-track moment, but has recovered.

Lap 24 Jenson Button pits. Hamilton has the gap to Vettel down to 3.8 seconds. Vettel says his tyres are slowly entering Phase Two.

Lap 25 Hamilton pits, and emerges behind Petrov after having a little difficulty getting away from his marks.

Race leader Vettel pits too…that was fast. Vettel comes out behind Massa and Heidfeld, though, which is not good news for him.

Lap 26 Hamilton passes Petrov. This could be crucial as he can now pump in fast laps while Vettel is stuck behind Massa and Heidfeld.

Alonso pits from what was the lead.

We have lost Sergio Perez to a mechanical problem.

Lap 27 Vettel makes it past Massa with excellent use of the DRS.

Lap 28 The order is now Vettel, Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Webber, Heidfeld, Massa, Kobayashi, Schumacher, Petrov, di Resta, Rosberg, Alguersuari, Sutil, Buemi, Kovalainen.

Lap 29 Schumacher pits, and Vettel is told not to use the KERS. That is not good for him. Some issues with it, it looks like. “We believe he cannot use his KERS…if we can get close to him we have a chance,” McLaren tell Button.

Lap 31 “Repeat the KERS message?” asks Vettel. “Do NOT use KERS,” reply Red Bull. He can’t believe it. If McLaren get anywhere near him he will be a sitting duck.

Lap 32 Button is maintaining a good cushion over Alonso.

Lap 33 Webber pits for the third time. Vettel has managed to get the gap back up to 5.4 seconds so he obviously hasn’t taken the KERS news too hard.

Lap 34 Yes, Vettel’s a second a lap quicker than Hamilton at the moment. Button looks to be catching his team mate too. Ferrari point this out to their star man who is chasing the Englishers. Alonso says, “I’m pushing, I’m pushing, don’t worry”.

Lap 36 “Something came out the car of Buemi and hit me, and I lost power,” says Perez by way of explanation for his retirement. Things have been falling off Buemi’s car all weekend, can anyone lend them a screwdriver?

Lap 37 Right, this has become a bit soporific now. Vettel looks comfy at the front and has extended his lead to 8.8 seconds.

Lap 38 Hamilton pits. He was delayed by a problem with the front left, but it might not be a disaster for him. Webber is on his tail as he emerges. Looks like Button might jump Lewis then.

Lap 39 Button pits, and gets out ahead of Hamilton! It’s all falling apart for the ’08 world champion. He has got to make these hard tyres last for 18 laps. Webber is right behind him.

Lap 41 Button sets the fastest lap. It might play into his hands, this one. He is quick.

Lap 42 Vettel and Alonso pit. Both relatively problem-free.

The order is Vettel, Button, Hamilton, Webber, Alonso, Petrov, Heidfeld, Massa, Schumacher, Kobayashi, di Resta Sutil, Buemi, Alguersuari, Rosberg.

Lap 43 Schumacher falls off the road and Kobayashi capitalises.

Lap 44 Webber pits again for the fourth time.

Lap 45 Alonso is right up behind Hamilton! Hamilton defends, this is great racing! The Brit doesn’t like these tyres one bit, but Alonso’s rear wing is not working.

Lap 46 And they’ve come together! Alonso got too close to him and clipped the back of the McLaren! As he swept out from under the rear wing, it looked to me like that was Alonso’s fault really. Although he might argue that Hamilton didn’t give him enough space.

Lap 47 Alonso is forced to pit to change his nose. Lots of damage to the Ferrari – as yet little visible on Hamilton’s tyre.

Lap 48 Webber has caught Massa in fifth.

Lap 49 Massa and Webber are locked in a dogfight now, very entertaining.

Lap 50 Webber went right round the outside of Massa into the first corner to take fifth! What a move. Great stuff. This is what fresh tyres will do for you.

Lap 51 Heidfeld gets Hamilton down to the first corner. Very easy for him – Hamilton is going backwards now on account of these tyres.

Lap 52 And Hamilton is off, and Webber’s through! And the Englishman has to pit by the looks, yes he is in. A torrid late afternoon for the McLaren man. He comes out behind Petrov!

Lap 53 Webber is threatening Heidfeld…and Petrov is out! He went off the road, gave it some welly to get back on and ended up taking off over a rain gully. The landing broke the steering wheel off, and then he was a passenger. Lucky not to have a bigger accident.

Lap 54 Webber is fighting Heidfeld now!

Lap 55 What an end to this grand prix. Literally don’t know where to look, the action is furious here.

Lap 56 The last lap and can Heidfeld hang on for third?

SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX

Button is second, and Nick Heidfeld will be third. Mark Webber has resigned himself to fourth and the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are fifth and sixth. Lewis Hamilton, surely disappointed, arrives seventh. Kamui Kobayashi is eighth and Michael Schumacher will be buoyed by ninth. Paul di Resta finishes tenth.

That’s all from me, thanks for following.

Vettel pips Hamilton to Malaysian pole – qualifying report

Sebastian Vettel today pipped Lewis Hamilton to pole position for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

At the last, the German managed a lap a tenth quicker than Hamilton’s best time, which had looked unbeatable as the Q3 session drew to a close.

Hamilton had been dominant for most of the final session and looked to have the measure of his team mate Jenson Button and Mark Webber in the other Red Bull.

But Vettel drew on some hitherto unseen reserves of pace and took pole with a fantastic lap in what was a completely dry Saturday afternoon in Sepang.

Webber will start third tomorrow, a result he must be pleased with after narrowly escaping the drop zone at the end of Q1.

Although it looked like he might be unable to replicate yesterday’s practice speed, the Australian was challenging the McLarens at the sharp end of the grid by the close of the session.

Button is fourth on the grid for tomorrow’s race, topping the Q2 timesheet but unable to stamp his authority on the shootout. He will be encouraged by the qualifying performance as a whole, however.

The four were comfortably faster than the rest of the field, with Fernando Alonso more than half a second off the back of Button’s speed. The Spaniard sits fifth on the grid, but the suspicion is that Ferrari do not have the overall competitiveness to challenge for the podium unless something happens to the frontrunners. Felipe Massa could only manage seventh on the grid.

Nick Heidfeld in the Renault clocked the sixth fastest time in Q3, a performance with which he must be happy after a disappointing debut for the team in Australia. The R31 obviously has latent pace and could spring a surprise if it rains tomorrow. Petrov in the sister car starts eighth tomorrow.

Nico Rosberg showed that Mercedes’ effective DRS could not yet translate into strong pace, but from ninth position he may yet be able to score highly. He once again outdid Michael Schumacher, who could not scrape into the final session and will start from 11th.

Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber was the final name in the top ten, proving that a legal Sauber still has some good speed. His team mate Sergio Perez could not repeat his Melbourne heroics and is 16th on the grid.

In a strong showing, the Toro Rossos of Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari took 12th and 13th respectively, and Paul di Resta once again beat his more experienced team mate Adrian Sutil. The Scot is 14th while Sutil, who is not enjoying a pleasant start to the season, is down in 17th slot.

Williams failed to live up to the promise shown in Melbourne – Rubens Barrichello starts 15th while Pastor Maldonado was the big name to go out in Q1 and is 18th.

Down at the back, the Lotuses were once again the class of the ‘second class’, with Kovalainen topping the group. Trulli is 20th, followed by Glock and d’Ambrosio in the Virgins. Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan did manage to qualify, no mean feat for a team that has yet to race in 2011. They are expected to be well off the pace, however, and the frontrunners need be extremely wary of them on track.

Rainstorms are predicted for tomorrow’s late afternoon kick-off in Sepang, and the extent of tyre wear and degradation in the heat and humidity is an unknown quantity.

Red Bull have strong pace but the margin between them and McLaren is not as considerable as it was in Australia. If a McLaren gets to the first corner first the race could be very interesting. Eyes should also be on the Renaults who could even be the dark horses for a win if the rain makes the race a lottery.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m34.870s
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.974s + 0.104
3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m35.179s + 0.309
4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.200s + 0.330
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.802s + 0.932
6. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m36.124s + 1.254
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m36.251s + 1.381
8. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m36.324s + 1.454
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m36.809s + 1.939
10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.820s + 1.950
Q3 cut-off time: 1m36.811s Gap **
11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m37.035s + 1.466
12. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.160s + 1.591
13. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.347s + 1.778
14. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.370s + 1.801
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m37.496s + 1.927
16. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.528s + 1.959
17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m37.593s + 2.024
Q3 cut-off time: 1m38.163s Gap *
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m38.276s + 1.532
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m38.645s + 1.901
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m38.791s + 2.047
21. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m40.648s + 3.904
22. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m41.001s + 4.257
23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m41.549s + 4.805
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m42.574s + 5.830

107% time: 1m43.516s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2

Webber maintains pressure in practice two

Mark Webber ended top of the timesheets this morning in the second practice session, following his dominant FP1 performance.

But this time the field were closer, with Jenson Button pushing Webber hard and setting the second quickest time, a mere 0.005 seconds off the Australian.

Lewis Hamilton was a tenth slower than his team mate, slotting into third, and Sebastian Vettel showed that his FP1 effort had been an anomaly by putting in the fourth fastest time.

Michael Schumacher will be happy with his day’s work as he ended up fifth.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.876s 24
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.881s + 0.005 30
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m37.010s + 0.134 23
4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.090s + 0.214 30
5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m38.088s + 1.212 26
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m38.089s + 1.213 31
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m38.565s + 1.689 25
8. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m38.570s + 1.694 16
9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.583s + 1.707 27
10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.846s + 1.970 31
11. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m38.968s + 2.092 25
12. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m39.187s + 2.311 30
13. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m39.267s + 2.391 17
14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.398s + 2.522 29
15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.603s + 2.727 34
16. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m39.625s + 2.749 31
17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m39.809s + 2.933 28
18. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.115s + 3.239 31
19. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m40.866s + 3.990 24
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m41.890s + 5.014 19
21. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m43.197s + 6.321 15
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m43.991s + 7.115 14
23. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m44.886s + 8.010 4

All Timing Unofficial

Webber tops first Malaysia practice

Mark Webber today set the fastest practice time in the opening session of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

The Australian put the bitter memories of Melbourne behind him as he romped to comfortably the quickest time, a good second and a half brisker than Lewis Hamilton and the rest of the field could manage.

Hamilton will be happy with today’s second quickest time position but surely not with his pace, or rather the gap between him and the Red Bull of Webber.

Michael Schumacher was an encouraging third fastest for Mercedes while Nico Hulkenberg, testing for Force India, was fourth.

Pastor Maldonado underlined the potential of the Williams with fifth quickest.

The session was remarkable in other news for what looked like a spectacular suspension failure for Jerome d’Ambrosio in the Virgin and two off-track excursions for the Renaults – firstly Nick Heidfeld and then Vitaly Petrov.

Sebastian Vettel spent the session evaluating the Red Bull KERS system, as yet unused, and so was down in 17th position when the session ended due to d’Ambrosio’s accident.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were sixth and ninth fastest respectively.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.651s 22
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.316s + 1.665 16
3. Schumacher Mercedes 1m39.791s + 2.140 29
4. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m40.377s + 2.726 23
5. Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m40.443s + 2.792 31
6. Massa Ferrari 1m40.453s + 2.802 22
7. Heidfeld Renault 1m40.525s + 2.874 6
8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m40.581s + 2.930 21
9. Alonso Ferrari 1m40.601s + 2.950 23
10. Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.646s + 2.995 29
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m40.734s + 3.083 21
12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.748s + 3.097 23
13. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m40.770s + 3.119 24
14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.872s + 3.221 27
15. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.927s + 3.276 16
16. Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m41.620s + 3.969 21
17. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.627s + 3.976 18
18. Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.642s + 3.991 24
19. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m42.154s + 4.503 18
20. d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m42.540s + 4.889 20
21. Valsecchi Lotus-Renault 1m44.054s + 6.403 18
22. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m45.228s + 7.577 20
23. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m46.267s + 8.616 10
24. Petrov Renault 1m47.932s + 10.281 4

All Timing Unofficial