2011 Season, 2014 Formula 1 (F1) Malaysian Grand Prix, Formula 1 (F1) - Mark Webber - Red Bull, Formula 1 (F1) - Red Bull -

Malaysian GP Friday Free Practice Report

Mark WebberRed Bull’s Mark Webber, continued to set the pace through-out an eventful first day of practice for the Malaysian GP. However, the top four drivers were covered by less than 0.250s. McLaren driver, Jenson Button was second fastest and only 0.005s off Webber’s pace. Meanwhile, Button’s team mate, Lewis Hamilton was third and Sebastian Vettel was fourth. Webber set his fastest time of 1m 36.876s on the Pirelli option tyre midway through the second session. The two Friday practice sessions were filled with a number of scary moments. Firstly, Lotus Renault GP’s, Nick Heidfeld who was looking strong at the start of the first session, when he was setting the early pace, had what looked like a dramatic front-right brake failure, which saw his wheel remain locked on. Heidfeld had only completed six laps before the incident. However, Renault’s problem got worse as the first session progressed when Vitaly Petrov also suffered a serve mechanical problem at turn 9, which spun the car and sent the young Russian driver flying into the gravel trap. It's unclear whether the two issues were related, but the team did delay their running for the second practice session as they tried to get to the bottom of what caused these faults. Although it appeared at first that the two incidents were brake related, subsequent investigations by the team are now pointing more towards an issue with the suspension uprights. The Lotus Renault team did manage to get back out for the second half of Free Practice 2 session, with Vitaly Petrov going on to finish 13th fastest, whilst Nick Heidfeld finished 8th. Petrov was not the only driver to have a high-speed scare in FP1 as Virgin Racing’s, Jerome d'Ambrosio suffered a front-left suspension failure under braking for the final corner, which saw the system explode in a similar fashion to that of Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Buemi's STR at China last year. Incidents continued as FP2 got underway, when HRT’s Vitantonio Liuzzi ran wide over some kerbing which appeared to switch off his Cosworth engine. Even so, the Italian driver did still manage to outpace the usual front runner of the new teams, Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen, after the Finnish driver spent most of the second session in the pits. Williams’ rookie, Pastor Maldonado, also made a driver error when he got his right tyres on the grass on the pit entry and crashed his car into the barrier. This was a shame for the Venezuelan, who looked fast for much of the day. Seven times World Champion, Michael Schumacher also survived a scary grassy moment at Turn 6 to go fifth fastest ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.

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