Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

A McLaren 1-2 was denied by Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg, who moved to second-quickest with a late flying lap.

P1 - Lewis Hamilton

With the threat of tropical rain set to dominate the weekend’s proceedings, it was the rookie teams that took advantage of a dry circuit and dominated the timesheets among themselves in the opening half of the session.

At about the 45-minute mark of the 90-minute session, both McLarens moved to the top of the order. It, and indeed many of its rivals, elected to run with heavier fuel loads to simulate race running for Sunday.

The team from Woking maintained its hold on the top of the timesheets until the chequere3d flag had been unfurled, but Nico Rosberg’s final lap that was just 0.185s slower than Hamilton’s saw him split the McLarens at the end of the session.

Michael Schumacher made it a Mercedes-powered foursome with the fourth-quickest time, having only posted a timed lap after the one-hour mark while the rear of his Mercedes GP W01 was being attended to by engineers.

Robert Kubica carried the momentum of his Australian GP podium into this weekend with the fifth-quickest time of the session, ahead of Mark Webber (Red Bull), Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).

Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) reported problems under deceleration but was still fastest in the circuit’s middle sector; Sébastien Buemi went 10th-quickest for Toro Rosso.

En route to 11th on the timesheets, Felipe Massa made two unscathed trips through the gravel traps, but he was also joined by Pedro de la Rosa, who made the same mistake at Turn 12 in his Sauber.

The new appearance on the circuit was that of Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy in the Lotus. The local driver acquitted himself well on his debut appearance during the Grand Prix weekend, although he did have a half-spin and a trip through the grass. Nonetheless, a fastest time within 0.5s of that set by the team’s regular driver Jarno Trulli is nothing to be ashamed of at all…

2010 Malaysian GP Practice 1 Session Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes 1:34.921 19
2. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP + 0.185 19
3. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes + 0.286 25
4. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP + 0.304 14
5. Robert Kubica POL Renault + 0.481 22
6. Mark Webber AU Red Bull Renault + 0.558 22
7. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes + 1.034 20
8. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari + 1.038 20
9. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault + 1.122 19
10. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari + 1.179 20
11. Felipe Massa BRA Ferrari + 1.530 22
12. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari + 1.582 28
13. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari + 1.724 18
14. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault + 1.791 9
15. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes + 1.970 25
16. Pedro de la Rosa ESP Sauber Ferrari + 1.978 24
17. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Williams Cosworth + 2.881 27
18. Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth + 3.357 18
19. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Cosworth + 4.539 21
20. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth + 4.834 17
21. Lucas di Grassi BRA Virgin Racing Cosworth + 5.238 25
22. Fairuz Fauzy MAS Lotus Cosworth + 5.800 19
23. Bruno Senna BRA HRT Cosworth + 6.911 27
24. Karun Chandhok IND HRT Cosworth + 7.045 24

[Original image via GP Update]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.