Rosberg leads first practice as Magnussen escapes fire

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Malaysia, Sepang International Circuitmy

Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in the first practice session at Kuala Lumper, Malaysia. The German was nearly half a second faster than his team mate and more than a second ahead of the Ferrari duo that slotted into third and fourth.

The session was however interrupted early on, as Kevin Magnussen's car caught fire in the pitlane while being wheeled back into the garage after his installation lap. As mechanics reversed the Renault to park it into the garage, flames erupted from the engine cover. The situation was quickly attended to, but the as the fuel leak causing the fire continued, it took the team nearly 10 minutes until the situation was stabilsed.

Even though the car was eventually covered completely in white foam, Magnussen was uninjured and eventually managed to compete in second practice without problems. The team said later during the session that they expect a pressure buildup in the fuel tank to have caused the leak.

As track action resumed, Rosberg quickly went fastest on Pirelli's soft rubber, only to improve another half a second later. Lewis Hamilton failed to keep up with that pace, and had a big lockup in one of his final outing on the softs,briefly sending him off the track. Ferrari were closest, but by far not a match. In fact, the gap was such that the scarlet cars were even slower on the soft tyres than Mercedes' drivers on the medium compound tyres.

Fifth fastest was Fernando Alonso in the McLaren Honda, benefiting from the 4th different specification Honda engine. The team and Alonso had announced beforehand that they expected this circuit to suit them. Initial pace appeared to confirm this, even though Jenson Button was more than a second slower than his team mate, down in 10th.

Red Bull's duo were 6th and 7th fastest, ahead of both Force India's, led by Nico Hulkenberg. Contrary to the top 5 though, the Red Bull cars were only fitted with the medium and hard tyres, while at Force India, it was the hard tyre that delivered them their best times.


16Nico RosbergMercedes1:35.227-25
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:35.721+0.494s25
37Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:36.315+1.088s16
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1:36.331+1.104s18
514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:36.510+1.283s18
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:36.753+1.526s27
733Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:36.973+1.746s26
827Nico HulkenbergForce India Mercedes1:37.513+2.286s26
911Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:37.601+2.374s27
1022Jenson ButtonMcLaren Honda1:37.613+2.386s20
1126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso Ferrari1:37.847+2.620s29
1277Valtteri BottasWilliams Mercedes1:37.861+2.634s17
138Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:37.886+2.659s22
1421Esteban GutierrezHaas Ferrari1:37.921+2.694s20
1555Carlos SainzToro Rosso Ferrari1:38.055+2.828s25
1612Felipe NasrSauber Ferrari1:38.184+2.957s18
179Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:38.313+3.086s20
1819Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:38.339+3.112s24
1930Jolyon PalmerRenault1:39.148+3.921s23
2031Esteban OconMrt Mercedes1:40.036+4.809s28
2194Pascal WehrleinMrt Mercedes1:40.627+5.400s26
2220Kevin MagnussenRenault--2