After setting the fastest time in the opening practice session of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has again headed the timesheets in the day’s second session.
Operating with a series of short runs throughout the 90-minute session, Hamilton matched his first practice session benchmark within 15 minutes of the second session starting, and was never headed.
Many drivers opted to do comparison runs on the prime and option Bridgtestone tyres, and were almost unanimous in their complaints about their cars’ balance on the softer tyres.
Sebastian Vettel went second-quickest to break the Mercedes-Benz-powered domination of the timesheets, registering a decent amount of laps after concerns were raised with his engine in the opening session.
The Red Bull reliability curse seemed to afflict Mark Webber this time around, with the Australian grinding to a halt after less than 30 minutes’ running with a suspected engine failure.
Despite their protests that they wouldn’t be on the pace this weekend, Mercedes GP ran 3rd (Rosberg) and 5th (Schumacher) on the timesheets, sandwiching the Mercedes-powered McLaren of Jenson Button.
Ferrari were – relative to their usual standards – buried in the timesheets by running heavy fuel loads, and only bolted on the option tyres in the final minutes of the session, which resulted in marginal improvements to the times of Fernando Alonso (7th) and Felipe Massa (15th).
Remember that the team ran with this strategy in Australia, and emerged with very quick cars by the time qualifying came around…
Plenty of cars took trips through the gravel traps as their drivers explored the limits of their chariots on the softer tyres. Adrian Sutil, Bruno Senna and Sébastien Buemi all took turns getting some kitty litter in their radiators.
Tomorrow is certainly going to look very interesting indeed…
2010 Malaysian GP Practice 2 Session Times:
[Original image via GP Update]