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DATE News (chronologically)
04/02/10
f1
Hamilton again fastest in Sepang  
McLaren thumbed its nose at all challengers on Friday
The skies opened at Sepang in between Friday's first and second practice sessions.  The initial 90 minute session occurred in hot and humid conditions. Then, about an hour before the second session scheduled for 2pm, a heavy downpour of rain struck the circuit, which is located about a 20-minute drive from the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

The rain quickly passed and the sun remerged, but the track is still wet with 30 minutes to go until FP2.

As the paddock inhabitants were ducking for cover at lunchtime, team bosses had been summoned to a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, and the FOTA group is scheduled to meet at 4.30pm.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the day's earlier session and repeated the feat in the afternoon.

Mark Webber had to retire from second practice at Sepang on Friday with a suspected engine failure.

After the RB6 was returned to the Red Bull garage with gravel trap stones stuck to its tires, team members were spotted mopping up puddles of leaked oil shortly afterwards.

It is yet another reliability problem for the highly competitive team, whose back-to-back pole sitter Vettel suffered a spark plug failure and then a wheel problem whilst leading in Bahrain and Australia respectively.

Vettel, 22, then had another wheel problem during first practice in Malaysia, while Webber's sister car returned to the pits at one point with burn damage on the bodywork.

Webber ground to a halt in a gravel trap after a sudden loss of power in the second session, before Vettel said on the radio that he suspected "something" wrong with his power steering.

However, after returning to the pits for checks, he then went on to set the second quickest time of the 90-minute session, behind Lewis Hamilton, whose McLaren was fastest throughout Friday.

The two Mercedes cars were also competitive throughout the 180 minutes of Friday practice, with Nico Rosberg yet again with his nose in front of seven time world champion Michael Schumacher.

Ferrari had an apparently bad day, with Fernando Alonso a second off the pace in the first session, and Felipe Massa a worrying fifteenth quickest in the second session after some problems.

"There is a lot of work to do to prepare (for) the race," read a posting on Ferrari's official Twitter.  "We can foresee a very difficult weekend."

Results

Pos Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.175 +0.000 27
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:34.441 +0.266 28
3. Rosberg Mercedes 1:34.443 +0.268 30
4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.538 +0.363 24
5. Schumacher Mercedes 1:34.674 +0.499 30
6. Kubica Renault 1:35.148 +0.973 34
7. Alonso Ferrari 1:35.581 +1.406 34
8. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:35.660 +1.485 39
9. Petrov Renault 1:35.872 +1.697 20
10. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:35.957 +1.782 32
11. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.018 +1.843 38
12. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:36.221 +2.046 34
13. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.325 +2.150 33
14. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.325 +2.150 39
15. Massa Ferrari 1:36.602 +2.427 30
16. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:36.813 +2.638 26
17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:37.415 +3.240 19
18. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:38.454 +4.279 34
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:38.530 +4.355 32
20. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:38.786 +4.558 13
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:39.061 +4.886 23
22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:39.158 +4.983 29
23. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:41.084 +6.909 27
24. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:41.481 +7.306 32

All Timing Unofficial

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