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