Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice

It’s only a week since the Australian Grand Prix; the forecast for this race weekend is stormy, which might favour Hamilton and Schumacher.

Tyre compounds for this weekend are hard and medium.
My GridBids picks for this weekend: FM JB NR LH HK RG

Free Practice 1 (FP1)
Rumours abound about Massa potentially being replaced! Ferrari have flown in a new chassis, so that might put a stop to his complaints about the car
Valtteri Bottas is the Friday driver taking Senna’s place in the Lotus
JB 1:39.232
RG going slowly – radios pits to day something strange at rear – right rear wheel?
NK stopping? Pit radio says not to upshift or downshift – that’s helpful!
LH 1:38.021
RG’s Lotus seems to be fixed as he goes P5
Air 30°C; track 40°C; humidity 61% and dropping
30mins left of FP1; order: LH, SV, NR, MS, RG, MW, KR, PDe, JB, NH
15mins left; order unchanged
HK is the first to go out on the option (medium compound) tyres
Does JB’s McLaren have an oil leak?
SP off track but recovered it in Turn 4
Radio from KR describing car as “not drivable”!
Front wing change for FA
NH pits – black tarp caught underneath car!
Chequered flag
LH fastest (1:38.021) followed by SV, NR, MS, RG, MW, KR, PDe, JB, NH.

Free Practice 2
Sky looks clear, almost sunny but there’s still a chance of rain
More than half the drivers on track early on, in case it does rain
They’re all on the prime (hard) tyres
TG 1:46.413
RG 1:43.554
MW 1:41.144
Replay shows FA baulking SP
PRo loses the tail of his HRT
KR on options (medium compound)
MW 1:40.705
JV 1:40.529
DR 1:40.328
MS 1:39.867
PDe locks up and runs off across the grass
LH 1:39.611
(JB P2)
LH 1:38.921
(FA P2)
(SV P2)
(FA P2)
DR 1:38.853 on the softer options
KR pushes his way past MW
Forecast says no showers for at least 30 mins
LH runs wide in Turn 4 but rejoins
30mins in to FP2; order is DR, LH, JV, FA, SV, PM, JB, MS, NH, NR
Force India say braking issue with PRe’s car
RG on a quick lap – overall fastest Sector 1 but ends up P5; KR, his Lotus teammate is down in P19
SV runs a little wide, straddles the rumble strip, abandons his lap; body language shows his frustration
LH 1:38.816
Radio from SV complaining about poor balance
45mins = half way through FP2; LH, DR, FA, MW, JV, RG, SV, PM, JB, KR
LH 1:38.617
(JB P2)
PRe off track again – still a problem with the Force India’s brakes?
Red Bull changing the rear torsion bar on SV’s car
Replay shows PRe losing the rear in turn
MS 1:38.533, causing more discussion about the Mercedes rear wing “F duct” – other teams complained about it after the Australian GP
Lots of people struggling with the final turn, locking up their front left
FM can’t improve on P15
30mins left of FP2; MS, LH, JB, NR, DR, FA, MW, JV, RG, SV
LH 1:38.513
LH 1:38.172
MS’s front right tyre looking very worn
KK locks up but forces the car round the corner
LH runs wide in Turn 4; stays out of the gravel
5mins left; LH, MS, JB, NR, DR, FA, MW, JV, RG, SV
LH runs wide in Turn 4 again
NK spins in the final turn
Chequered flag
MW locks up in the final turn too
LH fastest (1:38.172) followed by MS, JB, NR, DR, FA, MW, JV, RG, SV

FP3 starts at 1am…

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