• Malaysian Grand Prix - FP2

Raikkonen fastest in second practice

ESPN Staff
March 22, 2013

Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus was fastest in the second practice session of the Malaysian Grand Prix as he continued to give Red Bull a run for its money on one-lap pace.

After finishing the first session 0.068s off Mark Webber, Raikkonen was 0.019s clear of Sebastian Vettel in second practice as the teams bolted on the medium tyres for the first time. A brief rain shower also allowed for some running on intermediate tyres, which could prove useful if rainstorms continue to his the circuit in the afternoons, but by the final 10 minutes of the session most cars had reverted to running slicks.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was third fastest and encouragingly close to Raikkonen's pace with a lap just 0.092s off the Lotus. Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest, roughly 0.4s off his team-mate, with Mark Webber fifth and Romain Grosjean sixth.

Outside of the battle of the Lotuses, Red Bulls and Ferraris, the two Mercedes and two Force Indias were battling it out with Nico Rosberg seventh fastest ahead of Paul di Resta, Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil, who finished the session early with a problem.

McLaren's struggles continued as neither driver finished in the top ten, with Sergio Perez 11th quickest just 0.027s ahead of his team-mate Jenson Button. The only solace for McLaren was the fact that Button was the quickest car on medium tyres when the track was fully wet.

There were a couple of incidents during the session, with Nico Hulkenberg spinning in the pit lane entrance after the rain started to fall. His Sauber team-mate Esteban Gutierrez also hit trouble with his fire extinguisher going off in the cockpit early in the session after he ran across the kerbs at turn 12, before a broken exhaust confined him to the pits for a spell. Both Caterham's of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde also suffered spins in the tricky conditions.

The high track temperatures also saw a long crossover point between slicks and intermediate tyres, with a number of drivers opting to stay out on slicks as the rain fell lightly and evaporated on the hot track surface.