Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets in FP2 as a drain cover stops the session

29 September 2017

Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets in FP2 as a drain cover stops the session

In the second practice session for the Malaysian GP, Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets ahead of his team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo in a session that saw a drain cover stopping the action after Haas driver Romain Grosjean crashed his car.

Following the morning rain that was present in FP1, FP2 was completely dry and all of the teams quickly got to work on a mixture of medium, soft and super-soft tyres.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel set the early pace on the soft tyre, clocking 1m32.456s, with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas running off track at the Turn 11 right-hander and skating into the gravel before returning to the pits.

Just moments later Bottas’ team mate Lewis Hamilton dipped the first kerb at the Turn 7/8 double-right and lost the rea. This then pitched him into a spin and across the gravel. He was also able to rejoin and return to the garage.

But the FP2 session in Sepang was red-flagged and ended just under 10 minutes early when Haas driver Romain Grosjean crashed his Haas heavily having hit the drain cover. The replays showed by Sky Sports F1 showed that Grosjean hit the cover on the Turn 12 inside kerb, after it had been flicked up by Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes, with his right-rear.

This then destroyed the tyre and pitched Grosjean off the track and into the wall. The drain cover was then subsequently removed by a marshal, with FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting and FIA safety director Laurent Mekies heading out to assess the damage.

After an initial inspection and with a little under 10 minutes to go until the end of the session; it was decided the session would not be restarted.

But it was Sebastian Vettel who was fastest with a lap time of 1:48.962 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in second place who was 0.604 seconds behind him and ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in third place who was 0.838 seconds behind Vettel.

Max Verstappen finished the session in fourth place ahead of Fernando Alonso in fifth place, Lewis Hamilton in sixth place, Valtteri Bottas in seventh place, Sergio Perez in eighth place, Nico Hulkenberg in ninth place and Esteban Ocon who rounded off the top ten finishers.

Jolyon Palmer ended the session in eleventh place ahead of Felipe Massa in twelfth place, Stoffel Vandoorne in thirteenth place, Lance Stroll in fourteenth place and Pierre Gasly in fifteenth place.

As we head into the latter stages of the grid, Carlos Sainz Jr ended the session in sixteenth place ahead of Romain Grosjean in seventeenth place, Kevin Magnussen in eighteenth place, Pascal Wehrlein in nineteenth place and Marcus Ericsson in twentieth place.

The classification of FP2 for the Malaysian GP is as follows:-

1.Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1.31.261
2.Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 0.604s
3.Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.838s
4.Max Verstappen, Red-Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.848s
5.Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda, 1.303s
6.Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.416s
7.Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1.459s
8.Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 1.601s
9.Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1.799s
10.Esteban Ocon, Force India-Mercedes, 1.835s
11.Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 2.120s
12.Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 2.133s
13.Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, 2.412s
14.Lance Stroll, Williams-Mercedes, 2.557s
15.Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 2.782s
16.Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 2.843s
17.Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 2.857s
18.Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, 3.082s
19.Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber-Ferrari, 3.985s
20.Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 4.436s

Driving for Pleasure will be covering the Malaysian GP weekend with our practice, qualifying and race reports alongside the latest news.

Sarah Jones- @jonesy_laaa