Hamilton quickest in practice 2 - Malaysia
|By Matt Beer
||Friday, March 21st 2008, 07:35 GMT
Lewis Hamilton beat Felipe Massa to the fastest time in second practice at Sepang, with the McLaren driver leaping to the top of the timesheets in the final minutes after Ferrari had dominated the session.
Ferrari had looked set for a one-two until Hamilton's late lap, with the McLarens having been a second off their title rivals' pace for much of the afternoon.
But as the track temperature cooled, Hamilton produced a 1:35.055 lap to beat Massa by 0.151 seconds. He then set even faster sector times two laps later before choosing to pit rather than raise the bar further.
Having missed half the session after running out of fuel in the middle of the circuit this morning, Massa's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen set the early pace when afternoon practice commenced.
The world champion set a 1:36.045 lap on his first run, then improved to 1:35.627 when he tried the soft Bridgestones.
Massa gradually edged closer to Raikkonen's time, before moving ahead in the final 20 minutes.
He rejoined for another soft tyre run after being beaten by Hamilton, but was unable to improve and had to settle for second.
Although Raikkonen got his time down to 1:35.428, he remained third.
Jenson Button vaulted to a surprise fourth place for Honda in the final seconds of the session, pushing Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel down to fifth. The young German had been amongst the front-runners all afternoon, having been as high as second position early on.
Jarno Trulli (Toyota) completed the top six, with Hamilton's McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen only seventh fastest.
Giancarlo Fisichella got Force India into the top ten again, taking ninth place between BMW's Robert Kubica and Williams' Kazuki Nakajima.
After their promising morning, Renault slipped to 14th and 15th this afternoon. Fernando Alonso, who spun at the final hairpin, was again fractionally faster than teammate Nelson Piquet.
Red Bull's David Coulthard and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais both failed to set a time. Coulthard remained in the garage as RBR continued with repairs and investigations following his dramatic crash in the first session, while Bourdais suffered an apparent engine failure on his first lap of the afternoon.
Despite predictions of thunderstorms throughout the weekend, conditions remained dry throughout Friday practice, with no rain falling at Sepang so far today.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:35.055 32
2. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:35.206 + 0.151 33
3. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:35.428 + 0.373 36
4. Button Honda (B) 1:36.037 + 0.982 40
5. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:36.474 + 1.419 35
6. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:36.493 + 1.438 38
7. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:36.512 + 1.457 30
8. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:36.671 + 1.616 33
9. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:36.756 + 1.701 37
10. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:36.838 + 1.783 34
11. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:36.879 + 1.824 38
12. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:36.908 + 1.853 36
13. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:37.106 + 2.051 35
14. Alonso Renault (B) 1:37.328 + 2.273 23
15. Piquet Renault (B) 1:37.331 + 2.276 42
16. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:37.346 + 2.291 37
17. Glock Toyota (B) 1:37.512 + 2.457 35
18. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:37.614 + 2.559 35
19. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) 1:39.021 + 3.966 27
20. Davidson Super Aguri-Honda (B) 1:39.361 + 4.306 30
21. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) No time 1
22. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) No time
All Timing Unofficial