Lewis Hamilton has answered his team mate’s morning pace as he topped the second Free Practice session of the Malaysian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg set the pace in FP1 but his team mate managed to post the fastest time of the day on the soft tyre, two tenths ahead of the German with a lap of 1:34.944 on the soft tyre.

Ferrari remained second fastest as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth respectively, 0.6 and 0.8 of a second off the world champions.

Red Bull appeared to struggle for pace as Max Verstappen set the fourth-fastest time of the session, a full second behind Hamilton while Daniel Ricciardo was eighth fastest.

Force India and McLaren showed an impressive pace with Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso sixth and seventh, the Spaniard running an updated Honda package.

The Spaniard, who will take a 30-place grid penalty, was fifth fastest in FP1 and his McLaren Honda was still fast enough for a top-10 position this session. He will revert back to the Monza package as Honda want to use the upgraded package for their home race in Suzuka.

Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button confirmed their respective teams’ form with ninth and tenth.
Carlos Sainz and Jolyon Palmer were in the top 10 for most of the session, only to miss out at the end as they ranked 11th and 12th.

Williams had a quiet session, as is usual for the Grove team on Friday, with Valtteri Bottas in 13th and Massa in 15th, split by the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez who once again got the better of his struggling team mate who was 20th ahead of only the Manors, Grosjean describing the session a “disaster”.

Daniil Kvyat was 16th fastest ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, while Kevin Magnussen was able to join the session after his FP1 fire with 49 minutes to spare, eventually doing 19 laps albeit 19th fastest.

Pascal Wehrlein found his lost pace from FP1 and was able to finish the session ahead of his team mate, albeit second-to-last.

FP3 will take place on Saturday at 14:00 local (GMT +8)



Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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Ahmad Shallouf

Contributing Writer at MotorsportM8