Rosberg keeps Mercedes on top in FP2

Rosberg keeps Mercedes on top in FP2

28 March 2014 – Nico Rosberg kept Mercedes at the top of the timesheets during Friday afternoon's second free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver delivered a quickest effort of 1:39.909 on the Medium tyre to edge out Ferrari rival Kimi Räikkönen and reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

Rosberg's pace-setting time came shortly after the 30-minute mark, when the traditional switch from the Hard to the Medium tyres arrived.

Lewis Hamilton made it a Silver Arrows one-two shortly afterwards, but the aforementioned Räikkönen and Vettel improved to split the pair.

Hamilton had looked set to usurp his team-mate, but a slow middle sector ended his hopes of doing so.

Fernando Alonso ensured that both Ferrari's reached the top five for the first time this season, the Spaniard finishing just ahead of former colleague Felipe Massa, who led the charge for new team Williams.

Daniel Ricciardo, on a mission to bounce back from his Melbourne disqualification, ended his session with a wild off-track moment at the exit of Turn 8, but he was able to stay within touching distance of pace-setter Rosberg.

Jenson Button, whose McLaren team continued to evaluate its selection of car upgrades, followed in eighth position, while the second Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Force India's Nico Hülkenberg completed the top ten.

Button's team-mate, Kevin Magnussen, headed straight on to the Medium tyre and wound up 12th.

There were a number of minor incidents during the session, with Jean-Éric Vergne losing control of his Toro Rosso under braking for the final corner, Hülkenberg taking a trip through the gravel trap at the same turn and Marussia's Max Chilton sliding on to the grass verge at the exit of Turn 3 after applying too much throttle.

At the back of the field, Lotus endured further problems. Pastor Maldonado failed to make it out on-track, while team-mate Romain Grosjean suffered two gearbox issues, the second forcing him to pull off the circuit.

Kamui Kobayashi was also unable to run due to the energy store issue his Caterham suffered in the morning.

Saturday's final practice session at Sepang gets underway at 1pm local time (GMT +8)

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