Mark Webber tops FP1 at Malaysia

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The first Friday practice of the Malaysian Grand Prix was paced by Infiniti Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who turned in the quickest lap of the session at 1 minute, 36.935 seconds.

He and Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel were split at the top of the time sheets by last week’s winner at Australia, Kimi Raikkonen, who posted the second-quickest lap at 1 minute, 37.003 seconds in his Lotus despite being the last driver to run a timed lap due to issues with his car’s KERS system. Vettel was P3 in the practice with a time of 1 minute, 37.104 seconds.

Defending Malaysian GP champion Fernando Alonso was fourth-fastest for Ferrari (1:37.319) and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg rounded out the top five (1:37.588).

Adrian Sutil managed to be sixth-quickest for Force India despite damaging his front wing after running over some curbs on the circuit. Positions 7-10 were filled by Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Paul di Resta (Force India), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus).

As for McLaren, which struggled mightily with the MP4-28 in Melbourne, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez were only able to ascend to 11th and 13th-fastest in the session, respectively.

Formula One – Malaysian Grand Prix

Friday Practice One times

1. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:36.935

2. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 1:37.003

3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:37.104

4. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:37.319

5. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:37.588

6. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:37.769

7. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:37.771

8. Paul Di Resta, Force India, 1:37.773

9. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:37.840

10. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:37.915

11. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:38.173

12. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:38.673

13. Sergio Perez, McLaren, 1:38.830

14. Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, 1:39.054

15. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1:39.204

16. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:39.208

17. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1:39.284

18. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1:39.567

19. Giedo Van Der Garde, Caterham, 1:40.728

20. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, 1:40.996

21. Charles Pic, Caterham, 1:41.163

22. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1:41.513

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.