So far, so good for Vettel and Ferrari in Malaysia F1 practice

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Sebastian Vettel took confidence from Ferrari’s impressive showing in Friday’s Formula 1 practice running for the Malaysian Grand Prix, having finished as the fastest driver in the second session.

Vettel posted a new track record of 1:31.261 in FP2 to finish six-tenths of a second clear of Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, stamping his authority on proceedings early.

At a track Mercedes was expected to dominate at, title rival Lewis Hamilton struggled to sixth place overall in FP2, finishing over 1.4 seconds behind Vettel.

“This morning we had a bit of mixed conditions and there was not so much running. This afternoon it was better and the cars seemed to be quite OK right from the beginning of the session,” Vettel said.

“Then we tried something new, but unfortunately we couldn’t complete our program as we had wished to, because of the red flag.

“We’ll see what we can do tomorrow. It’s only Friday, usually the day when you spend time trying various things on the car.

“We would have liked to drive a little bit more, but overall it was a decent afternoon. We have a good car and it’s up to us to make it work in all conditions.”

Raikkonen was also frustrated by the loss of track time due to rain in FP1 and a late red flag in FP2 following a crash for Romain Grosjean, but was happy with how the day went.

“Today’s been OK and everything ran smoothly. In the morning we had wet conditions and only managed a few laps, and in the afternoon the session was cut short because of the issue with the track,” Raikkonen said.

“It’s a pity that we couldn’t use the whole session and do more timed laps, because for sure we could have further improved. But the car was feeling good.

“I made some mistakes on a new set of tires but apart from that it was a pretty straightforward day. Lap times don’t mean much today, as obviously we don’t know what everybody else was doing.”