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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY - PRACTICE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Friday - Practice
By Matt Beer, Jonathan Noble, Andrew van Leeuwen, Edd Straw, Ben Anderson and Dan Cross
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
01:23 Good morning and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live's coverage of round two of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship from Sepang in Malaysia.

01:25 Our world champion is on the ropes, his team is fighting the FIA, pre-season favourite Lewis Hamilton has zero points, Nico Rosberg leads one championship and McLaren tops the other. We were promised a new world, and we've got it.

Daniel Ricciardo01:39 In Melbourne two weeks ago, the grand prix weekend stretched on until midnight on Sunday, as the paddock waited to find out if Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull was going to be disqualified from second place for breaking the new-for-2014 fuel-flow regulations.

And that storyline has remained at the forefront as the Sepang weekend began too.

01:41 On Wednesday, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told AUTOSPORT's JONATHAN NOBLE how the squad planned to fight its corner when the case comes to appeal on April 14:

Red Bull reveals FIA appeal plan

01:44 Ricciardo had already left the track by the time he was erased from the results of his home grand prix, so yesterday was the first chance for him to tell the F1 press pack how he reacted:

"I was pretty calm about it. I wasn't smiling at the time, but I wasn't breaking anything or having a rage blackout, as I sometimes call them.

"It wasn't in my control. It's not like I had a crap start, fell back to 10th race, I thought I did the best I could and it's just one of those things.

"In racing, unfortunately, there's a lot of variables and I know it's not always the way you hoped."

01:46 It's fair to say his team-mate Sebastian Vettel was coming across as the more disgruntled man over the issue yesterday:

"There are a couple of things that stand out," the champion said when quizzed.

"For sure it was a big hit for the team, but also in regards to Formula 1.

"We had the race in Australia, Daniel did a fantastic job finishing second, the whole country was very happy and proud and then a couple of hours later they take second position away from him – which as I said, from the driver's point of view and team point of view it hurts a lot.

"Now we need to see where the appeal goes."

01:48 Just over 10 minutes until practice commences. Conditions are hot and dry at the moment.

01:51 McLaren offers a handy reminder of the rule adjustment that means Friday practice gets off to a busier start these days:

"With the new 2014 tyre regs, which mean you give back one set of tyres after 30 mins of #FP1, expect to see us out soon..."

Not too soon though as the pitlane doesn't open for nine minutes still...

01:59 Engines firing in the pitlane, less than a minute till the Malaysian GP track action begins.

02:00 The session is underway, Fernando Alonso's Ferrari first out.

02:01 BEN ANDERSON: "Doesn't feel quite so humid at the circuit as it did yesterday, but it's still oppressively hot here in Sepang. Will be interesting to see which cars cope best with the heat in this 90-minute session."

02:01 The Caterhams, Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, Valtteri Bottas's Williams, the McLaren of Melbourne podium rookie hero Kevin Magnussen, and both Toro Rossos rush out.

02:01 Also on track: Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Esteban Gutierrez.

02:03 As usual, we're starting with installation laps and many drivers are straight back in.

02:03 Nineteen cars out so far, just missing the Red Bulls and Romain Grosjean's Lotus.

02:05 Grosjean and Ricciardo have now joined the fray, so just Vettel yet to appear.

02:07 Nico Rosberg's Mercedes is being pushed back into the garage. He tells the team on the radio "there is a problem with the car".

02:07 EDD STRAW: "Sergio Perez is in the pits awaiting his second run. He had a difficult Force India debut in Australia two weeks ago, although after Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion he did end up scoring a point for 10th.

"He is boosted this weekend by the return of race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, who missed Australia because, in Perez's words 'he had a baby'. Senior performance engineer Robert Sattler filled in in Australia."

02:07 Everyone now back in the pits. The McLarens did two laps, everyone else stuck to one.

02:07 Now Vettel leaves the pits and has the circuit to himself.

02:09 Vettel heads back in. All 22 cars have managed an installation lap without anyone breaking down - that's already progress over Melbourne.

02:12 EDD STRAW: "It's been a relatively quiet start to the session, but remember that every driver has an extra set of the harder Pirellis for use in the first 30 minutes only so there should be some proper running soon."

02:12 Sure enough, Gutierrez's Sauber is heading back out.

02:13 Also rejoining are Ericsson, Bottas, Massa and Chilton.

02:14 Gutierrez has been setting the fastest sectors of the session so far on his out-lap, so is preparing for our first flyer of the morning.

02:16 EDD STRAW: "You might notice this season that it is far more obvious when the DRS rear wing is open. It's not an optical illusion, as one of the less talked about rule changes this year is that the gap that opens between the elements of the rear wing has been increased from 50mm to 65mm this year."

02:16 Gutierrez kicks us off with a 1m45.851s.

02:16 But Bottas and Massa are beating the Sauber's sector times.

02:16 Alonso's Ferrari sets off again too.

02:17 Bottas beats Gutierrez by 1.5s with a 1m44.359s.

02:17 Massa into second, but 0.8s down on Williams team-mate Bottas.

02:17 Chilton is fourth of the four cars to do timed laps so far, 3.7s off the pace.

02:18 Bottas is improving on his next lap.

02:18 Ericsson does a time 9.6s off the pace. He's been heard complaining on the radio about something "cutting out".

02:18 Bottas finds a second and does a 1m43.193s, putting him 2s clear of second-placed Massa.

02:19 Vergne goes third, 2.4s down on Bottas.

02:19 Massa improves but is now 1.5s slower than Bottas rather than 2s. Different agendas for the two Williams so far it seems.

02:19 Chilton on a wild lap. A lock-up is followed by a dose of oversteer. Unsurprisingly he doesn't improve on his best time.

02:20 Gutierrez improves and takes third place back from Vergne.

02:20 BEN ANDERSON: "Early days in this first free practice session, but to put the times into some context, Mark Webber led the way on a 1m36.9s lap in FP1 at last year's Malaysian GP. That's a difference of six seconds to our current pace. New rules and different cars this year, but let's see how close they can get."

02:20 Alonso puts Ferrari on top with a 1m42.930s, 0.2s quicker than Bottas.

02:20 Speed trap figures so far, based on the main speed trap located 207m before the final corner:

1 Massa, 314km/h
2 Bottas, 313km/h
3 Vergne, 304km/h
4 Alonso, 301km/h
5 Gutierrez, 300km/h

02:21 Sutil and Kobayashi have put tentative laps in, while Ericsson has found 4s but is 6.1s off Alonso.

02:21 Button goes third fastest for McLaren, 1.1s off Alonso.

02:22 Button now sets the fastest time so far in the first sector.

02:22 Nico Rosberg is back on track after that early problem.

02:22 Vergne pops back into third ahead of Button. Now had 10 cars set times.

02:23 Button jumps to first, a 1m42.531s putting him 0.399s ahead of Alonso.

02:23 Alonso could reclaim the top spot, he's on a better lap now.

02:24 As expected, Alonso to first place with a 1m41.923s, 0.6s up on Button.

02:24 Magnussen is currently sixth but setting rapid sector times.

02:24 Raikkonen's first flying lap has put him ninth.

02:25 Magnussen improves to second place, 0.130s off pacesetter Alonso.

02:25 Romain Grosjean has stopped on track.

02:26 His Lotus is stationary at the exit of Turn 9, and the marshals seem unsure on how to move it.

02:26 Magnussen sets a new fastest time in the first sector but yellows for the Lotus are likely to scupper him.

02:27 Rosberg is now out and on the pace in the first two sectors.

02:27 BEN ANDERSON: "Dropped in on Lotus last night. The team sounded more upbeat about this weekend, after managing to get both cars beyond half distance in the Australian GP.

"Essentially, Team Enstone is three weeks behind schedule and in desperate need of quality track time to close the gap to the rest.

"Yet another set back for the troublesome Renault-powered twin tusk E22."

02:28 Rosberg goes third fastest on a 1m42.089s, a tenth off the pace.

02:28 The team has an idea about how to move Grosjean's car...

'Lotus_F1Team: PUSH!'

02:29 Current order with half an hour gone:

1 Alonso
2 Magnussen
3 Rosberg
4 Button
5 Hamilton
6 Vergne
7 Hulkenberg
8 Sutil
9 Bottas
10 Raikkonen

02:30 Six cars still to do a flying lap: Kvyat, Perez, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Vettel and the problem-struck Grosjean.

02:30 Adrian Sutil runs wide at Turn 15 in his Sauber, looks as if he was trying to get into the pits.

02:31 With the half-hour bonus tyre period over, everyone is back in the pits.

02:32 Speed trap update, again based on the main speed trap 207 metres before the final corner:

1 Button, 315km/h
2 Massa, 314km/h
3 Bottas, 313km/h
4 Magnussen, 311km/h
5 Hulkenberg, 310km/h

02:33 Grosjean's Lotus is now on the back of a truck.

02:34 Lotus will be pleased if that truck finds its way promptly back to the paddock. In Melbourne, Hamilton was a bit grumpy that his Mercedes wasn't retrieved until the end of the session following its Friday morning problem.

02:35 EDD STRAW: "Interesting to note that Alonso has set the fastest time in sector two - 34.291s. No long straights in that part of the lap, which is mostly corners including the spectacular Turn 5/6 left/right sweep. Rosberg is fastest in the first and last sector."

Toro Rosso02:35 Kvyat comes back out.

02:36 EDD STRAW: "Daniil Kvyat has never raced here in F1 before, and didn't do GP2, but that doesn't mean he's new to Sepang. He started six races here in Formula BMW Pacific in 2010, winning twice."

02:38 Kvyat is one of the drivers yet to do a flying lap today, but he's stayed out and is on one now.

02:38 McLaren is set to focus some of its programme on aerodynamic evaluation this morning, with the team introducing a host of updates for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

JONATHAN NOBLE spoke to Jenson Button yesterday about the upgrades that Ron Dennis said would bring half a second.

Button said: "It is always difficult to really put a number on it, you have to do drive bys and what have you on the circuit to get an understanding of the aerodynamics and upgrades.

"On Friday morning we will be doing that to see if it is what we hope for.

"The new bits should help us with balancing the car. It is more than just sticking on downforce. It should help us achieve what we want with this car because we found ourselves limited in Melbourne."

02:39 Kvyat goes 12th with that lap.

02:41 Kvyat stays out and improves to seventh place, 1.1s off the pace.

He's still the only man on track.

02:42 This time two weeks ago, Toro Rosso wasn't spending a lot of time on the road as its drivers grappled with braking issues.

All is smoother now, and indeed the team didn't really look back after Friday in Melbourne, getting both cars in the top 10 in qualifying and the race.

02:43 Gutierrez comes back out in a Sauber its drivers wish was lighter.

02:45 Looks like we won't be seeing Kobayashi again this session.

CaterhamF1: 5 laps in for @kamui_kobayashi but we've found a problem with his energy store so it's floor off to change it so he can run again in FP2

Esteban Gutierrez02:46 Sauber has also had more problems than most optimising its brake-by-wire system. Gutierrez explained yesterday that this was a factor in his lap one incident in Australia.

"I made a small mistake, I braked a little bit too late. I misjudged the braking completely and with the new braking system we have it's very different to last year.

"I actually had a lot of space to the car in front and was not trying to attack or anything. When I braked, I just didn't make it.

"It, the braking, is not very consistent and you cannot really push it hard.

"It's quite delicate and it varies, so doesn't give you full confidence, but we are working on it.

"We made a lot of progress during testing for the first race and I think here we can also make a step."

02:47 BEN ANDERSON: "More practice problems for Kamui Kobayashi's Caterham. A fuel line issue scuppered his Friday in Melbourne and left him with very little time to prepare for qualifying and the race. Could be a similar story here if the team can't get his car turned around in time for FP2."

02:50 A quick change at the top - Vergne goes fastest on a 1m41.402s, and then Magnussen puts the McLaren second.

02:50 EDD STRAW: "Malaysia's straights aren't quite as long as they look. The longest here is just under 930 metres, which is significantly shorter than the longest in F1, which are up around the 1200m mark."

02:51 Magnussen now beats the Toro Rosso's time with a 1m41.274s to go quickest.

02:51 Gutierrez has a bit of a moment on the run through Turns 5 and 6. Gets away with it unscathed.

02:52 Both Red Bulls are on track now. They have yet to set any times.

02:52 Ricciardo pops up to sixth place, 1.3s off the pace.

02:53 A quiet first lap from Vettel, who is only 16th for now.

02:53 Ericsson spins at Turn 15. Looks as if he locked the front brakes and then lost the rear.

02:54 Vettel is improving on his next lap, as is Raikkonen, who is currently 13th.

02:55 EDD STRAW: "If Caterham has to fit a brand new energy store to Kobayashi's car, that moves him closer to a grid penalty. The ES is one of the elements of the engine that each driver is only allowed to use five of this year. Caterham introduced Kobayashi's second energy store in Australia, so potentially it could be onto the third soon.

"The first time a sixth example of any of the power unit elements is introduced, it triggers a 10-place grid penalty.

"That said, any of the engine elements can be taken in and out as needed, so just because ones have been removed doesn't mean they can't be used later in the year - if they are still functioning properly or repairable, that is."

02:55 "Lots of cars looking like they're struggling with rear end grip" the Mercedes pitwall tells Hamilton over the radio. Moments from Gutierrez and Raikkonen support that theory.

02:55 Raikkonen up to third place, 0.238s off the pace.

02:55 Kevin Magnussen has stopped on track.

02:55 Alonso could be poised to go quickest with his next lap.

02:56 "I lost power and I switched the engine off" says Magnussen over the radio. Lucky for him, it all happened in the entry to pitlane, so not far to go.

02:56 No improvement from Alonso after all, he loses time in the last sector where there were yellows for Magnussen.

02:57 Vettel has been steadily making progress and is now 13th.

02:58 Only three cars haven't done a flying lap: the Force India of Perez and the two Lotuses.

02:58 Lotus has, somewhat unsurprisingly, confirmed that Grosjean won't be back out in this session.

02:58 The Ferraris - currently third and fourth - are improving their times.

02:58 Raikkonen goes quickest, a 1m40.843s beating Magnussen by 0.4s.

02:59 Hamilton throws in a 1m40.723s to take top spot from Raikkonen.

03:00 Hamilton wasn't quickest of all in any sector on that lap, but it added up to the best overall.

03:00 Alonso has a little spin. Seems to run slightly wide with the rear of the car and around it goes. But he's off and running again.

03:00 Rosberg just set a new first-sector benchmark, but only makes it to third, 0.305s off team-mate Hamilton.

03:00 Main speed trap figures with an hour of the session gone. Unsurprisingly, it's a Mercedes-engined lockout at the top:

1 Rosberg, 315km/h
2 Button, 315km/h
3 Massa, 314km/h
4 Bottas, 313km/h
5 Magnussen, 312km/h

03:00 Button is up to fourth now. Team-mate Magnussen is now down to fifth, having been quickest before his problem a minute ago.

03:01 Hamilton improves his time and does a 1m40.691s, now 0.152s ahead of Raikkonen.

03:02 Vettel finally makes it into the top 10 for the first time today, taking seventh place.

03:03 Order with just under half an hour to go:

1 Hamilton
2 Raikkonen
3 Rosberg
4 Button
5 Magnussen
6 Vergne
7 Vettel
8 Massa
9 Hulkenberg
10 Alonso
11 Ricciardo
12 Sutil
13 Kvyat
14 Gutierrez
15 Bottas
16 Bianchi
17 Ericsson
18 Chilton
19 Kobayashi

No time: Perez, Maldonado, Grosjean

03:05 Just a reminder, Lewis Hamilton is using the same engine that he used in Melbourne a fortnight ago.

Quite promising for him and the team that he's already done 12 laps, and is currently fastest. Good signs that the issue may be resolved.

03:06 Bottas, who did our first serious laps of the morning, is back in 15th now but is on a better lap.

03:06 That lap brings Bottas into 10th place.

03:08 Felipe Massa has a spin at Turn 8. Looks like excessive kerb use was the issue.

03:09 Progress at Lotus: Maldonado is on track.

03:10 Relatively quiet right now: Massa, Bottas, Kvyat, Bianchi and Maldonado on the circuit, only Bianchi and Kvyat improving.

03:11 Plenty of smoke coming out of the back of Maldonado's Lotus. Doesn't look good.

03:12 "Stop the car, please. Switch off" is the call from the Lotus pitwall.

03:16 First improvement in a while is Hulkenberg putting the Force India up to eighth, ahead of the two Williams.

03:16 Pacesetter Hamilton is back on the circuit.

Pastor Maldonado03:17 Maldonado out of the car, but Grosjean may be making an FP1 comeback...

Lotus_F1Team: Don't believe everything you might read here. @RGrosjean has reconciled with his E22

03:17 Top lap tally for the session right now belongs to Ericsson, who has done 19.

Both Williams have done 18, as has Gutierrez.

03:17 EDD STRAW: "It's going to be interesting to see this weekend how reliability compares to what we saw in Melbourne.

"Suspect that with the high temperatures (ambient is 32C right now but feels about 10 degrees warmer) and a track configuration that is hard on the engines we might see more struggling.

"Fifteen cars were running at the finish in Australia, but could well be fewer this weekend."

03:19 As we head into the final 10 minutes, our top three - Hamilton, Raikkonen and Rosberg - are all on the circuit. Though as we type that, Rosberg pits.

03:21 BEN ANDERSON: "We can only presume Kimi Raikkonen is much happier with the balance of his Ferrari today.

"The 2007 world champion struggled with the front end of his F14 T in Australia, but is looking good in P2 in this session, less than two tenths adrift of Hamilton."

03:21 EDD STRAW: "The speed trap at the start of sector two is located just 80 metres after the slow left-hander Turn 9. This means that the speeds are unspectacular, but it's interesting to note that the Red Bulls are first and second here (Vettel, 141km/h and Ricciardo, 140km/h). Suggests that the car is able to put the power down effectively and carry decent speed out of the slow corners."

03:23 As hinted by Lotus, Grosjean's car is fixed and he is on the circuit.

03:24 Grosjean looked like he might push on for a flying lap, but he slows and returns to the pits.

03:26 Perez looks to be getting ready to head out for the last four minutes of the session. He's yet to set a time, thanks to fuel issues with his Force India.

03:26 Although everyone out on track now is doing longer runs and lapping up to 5s off the pace, Raikkonen has just done a rapid first sector.

03:28 Across the whole lap though, Raikkonen is a couple of seconds off his previous pace, which has him in second right now with two minutes left.

03:30 Hamilton has had a bit of an off. Understeers off the track and into the gravel at Turn 11.

03:30 The flag is out.

03:31 Leading results:

1 Hamilton 1m40.691s
2 Raikkonen 1m40.843s
3 Rosberg 1m41.028s
4 Button 1m41.111s
5 Magnussen 1m41.274s
6 Vergne 1m41.402s
7 Vettel 1m41.523s
8 Hulkenberg 1m41.642s
9 Massa 1m41.686s
10 Bottas 1m41.830s

03:31 We'll have a full report online soon, and AUTOSPORT Live will keep rolling all day to bring you the latest from the paddock.

03:32 Hamilton blames marbles for his off while explaining it over the team radio.

03:35 Despite the spin, significantly better start to the weekend for Hamilton than he had in Melbourne, where he didn't manage a timed lap in FP1.

03:36 Main speed trap figures (located 207m before the final corner) ended the session as:

1 Rosberg, 315km/h
2 Bottas, 315km/h
3 Massa, 315km/h
4 Hulkenberg, 315km/h
5 Button, 315km/h
6 Magnussen, 312km/h

So the six fastest cars were all Mercedes-powered.

03:39 As for most laps, Marcus Ericsson's 24 is the leading number for that session. He finished 17th with a best of 1m45.775s.

His Caterham team-mate Kamui Kobayashi did significantly less running, an energy store problem leaving him out of the session after just five laps.

03:43 Six Mercedes-powered cars in the Top 10 in that session. Best of the rest was Raikkonen's Ferrari in second, while Jean-Eric Vergne was the best Renault-powered car, sixth for Toro Rosso.

03:44 Replays of Hamilton's little off at the end of the session seem to support his theory about driving on marbles. A small lock-up leads to him sailing off the road, with no grip whatsoever from the front end.

03:47 Here's the full report and results from that session:

Malaysian GP practice one: Hamilton quickest

03:56 EDD STRAW: "FIA has put out a technical bulletin confirming that Kamui Kobayashi was using a new energy store already heading into this session - his third so far.

"So if Caterham has to put in a new one, that will be the fourth of his permitted five energy stores."

04:00 Has that practice session given you enough hints for a Malaysian GP prediction?

There are prizes to be won at every race with the Castrol Edge Grand Prix Predictor - find out more and start playing here.

Sergio Perez04:05 Sergio Perez was one of the drivers in trouble in this morning's session, not managing any more running after a reported fuel system issue on his Force India's installation lap.

But at least that gives him more chance to rest the knee he injured during a training run on Wednesday, which caused a flurry of excitement in some quarters yesterday before Perez played it down:

"We did some running and it was a bit sore, so it inflamed my [left] knee. There will be no problem."

04:19 One of the spiciest press briefings of the build-up day on Thursday was world champion Sebastian Vettel's.

In his dominant recent seasons, it's often been hard for Vettel to find new things to say when he meets the press (in fairness, that has a lot to do with the questions he's asked...)

But his tough start to 2014 has left him in sparky form, and he was not holding back at all about the much-criticised sound of this year's V6 engines:

Vettel hits out at 2014 F1 engine noise

04:24 Not sure if this is what our European readers will want to be eating at approaching 4.30am, but McLaren has tweeted its lunch menu:

"For you foodies, the @AbsoluteTaste menu today is beef rendang, seared tuna w. crispy Asian salad, spaghetti aioli & chicken caesar salad!

"lunchtime pudding is creme brulee with a raspberry compote... Don't say we don't spoil you!"

04:37 McLaren's Magnussen wasn't the only rookie sensation of the 2014 opener, with Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat also starring as he became F1's youngest ever points-scorer at the age of 19 years, 10 months and 11 days.

This week he reflected on that achievement - and a lot more - in an interview for The Racer's Edge with AUTOSPORT and F1 Racing:



04:52 Jenson Button has been sharing some more details of the upgrades McLaren brought for this race, and his hopes for them:

Button: McLaren can catch Mercedes

Team chief Ron Dennis declared after Melbourne that his squad could be half a second quicker at Sepang.

04:59 Lots of teams and drivers are sending messages of support to the families affected by the missing Malaysian Airlines plane during the Sepang weekend. Felipe Massa summed up drivers' feelings before practice began.

"It's a very difficult moment for everybody," said the Williams driver.

"What's happened is amazing. We lost a plane for more than one week and now we're trying to find out what's happened.

"The families and the people inside the plane are in my mind and for sure we're going to use the sport to show nice things for the families."

Sergio Perez05:09 Sign of the problems Perez encountered in practice one, or just some Malaysian heat? Our snappers caught this smoky Force India in the pitlane earlier.

05:25 Just over half an hour remaining until practice two begins.

After our live commentary on that session, stay with AUTOSPORT Live for all the reaction from the Sepang paddock, plus GARY ANDERSON and EDD STRAW's in-depth form guide.

Then tomorrow after qualifying, look out for CRAIG SCARBOROUGH's technical blog detailing all the updates evident on the cars in Malaysia.

05:34 Williams flew during the winter, and showed great race pace in Australia with Bottas. But the team has had a habit of failing to keep up when the seasons get going in recent years, and Felipe Massa is concerned that could happen again:

Massa fears Williams could slip back

05:46 Ambient temperature up to 33C here. Track temp now at 50C.

05:47 If you're just joining us ready for practice two, here's the full report on a session that ended with Lewis Hamilton on top ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, and featured more problems for Lotus.

05:52 More pictures constantly being added to our gallery from the whole Malaysian Grand Prix weekend as well, with on-track shots from this morning coming in thick and fast.

Kamui Kobayashi05:55 Bad news for Kobayashi fans out there (of which there are many) as Caterham confirms that he won't be participating in FP2 today:

"Unfortunately @kamui_kobayashi's bad luck continues. We're still working on his car & he won't be back out for FP2."

05:59 One team we'll be keeping an eye on in this session is Lotus after the torrid time it had in FP1.

Grosjean came to a halt just halfway around his second lap, while team-mate Maldonado hit trouble with his car visibly smoking on the back straight.

They amassed just six laps in total.

06:00 Green lights are on and we're underway for practice two.

06:00 FIA information screen claims a 40 per cent risk of rain for this session.

06:01 Good sign for Lotus as Grosjean goes straight out, but doubts over whether Maldonado will be ready to run this afternoon.

06:02 EDD STRAW: "Maldonado's problem this morning is apparently related to the turbo. The team doesn't expect him to run this afternoon."

06:03 No hurried exodus from the pits this time: Grosjean, Perez, Magnussen, Ericsson, Chilton, Bianchi, Hulkenberg and Vergne head out in the opening three minutes.

06:05 Chilton is the first driver to spin out today at Turn 3. He's stuck on the inside of the corner and looks to have beached his Marussia.

06:07 We've had our first few times on the board, with Grosjean quickest for now on a 1m44.005s.

06:07 Perez, Bianchi, Vergne, Hulkenberg, Ericsson and Massa are the others with times on the screens.

06:08 Button goes quickest on a 1m42.445s, 1.6s up on Grosjean.

06:08 But moments later, Hulkenberg pips Button with a 1m42.293s to take the top spot for Force India.

06:08 EDD STRAW: "Standard procedure for this session will be to do some work early on using the hard tyre before switching onto the faster medium-compound. Thing to look out for is the long-run race pace of the various cars."

06:08 Chilton's stricken car is being towed away, so the yellow flags should not be waving for much longer.

06:10 Vergne takes a spin at the final turn, but the Frenchman is able to getting going again under his own steam.

06:11 Quick time coming up from Bottas in the Williams.

06:12 Button improves his benchmark to 1m41.635s, six tenths clear in first place.

06:12 Bottas was indeed flying, though, and he does a 1m41.072s to usurp Button on top.

06:12 The second Williams of Massa is also lapping quickly on the sectors so far.

06:13 Massa goes second, his 1m41.075s just 0.003s off Bottas in a Williams one-two at this stage.

06:13 Massa has been clocked at 319km/h in the main speed trap before the final corner. Fastest we saw this morning was 315km/h.

06:13 Next man to watch is Raikkonen, setting rapid sector times in the Ferrari.

06:14 Lotus remain upbeat, despite Maldonado languishing in the garage as 'Team Enstone' continue to build his car:

"This morning's total team lap tally beaten just 10mins into FP2"

Grosjean has completed eight laps so far.

06:14 Raikkonen was quickest of all in sectors one and two, but he loses out to the Williams pair in the final part so is third, 0.07s off Bottas.

06:14 Alonso goes fifth, which then becomes sixth as Rosberg takes fourth on his first proper run.

06:17 Grosjean appears to be stuck in second gear. He's limping back to the pits and is told: "Stay in that gear, don't change gear."

Valtteri Bottas06:18 Rosberg produced encouraging first and second splits on his last run, but fell short of Bottas overall and stays fourth.

06:19 Alonso comes through on a 1m40.737s to go fastest, with Hamilton then taking second on a 1m40.785s.

06:19 BEN ANDERSON: "We understand Alonso broke the floor on his Ferrari in FP1, so the double world champion will be keen to make up for lost time in this session now the F14 T has been repaired."

null06:20 CRAIG SCARBOROUGH: "McLaren is running several new updates as part of the package that Ron Dennis predicted would be worth half-a-second a lap.

"The most obvious is a new nose cone. This is still an anteater design, but the tip of the wedge-shaped upper nose is higher and squarer. This will force more air under the nose to allow greater airflow to the rear of the car."

06:20 Ricciardo sets the fastest middle sector so far, but the overall lap is only fifth place, though he's within 0.3s of the pace.

06:24 Vettel shows some pace in a flo-vis bedecked Red Bull, popping up to third place, 0.304s off Alonso.

06:24 Mercedes highlights the difficulties a little bit of wind can make:

"We're hearing of a slight headwind into T1: a breeze will affect the stability of the cars and also braking points on corner entry."

06:26 Vergne had been the slowest of the drivers out so far in 18th place, but he's just brought the Toro Rosso up to ninth.

06:26 Eighteen drivers have set a time, Magnussen has just been out for two non-flying laps, and Chilton went off on his first lap.

06:27 Kobayashi and Maldonado are in the pits and that's where they'll be staying due to problems this morning.

06:27 EDD STRAW: "Now starting to enter the phase of the session where drivers switch onto the medium tyre. Ericsson is out on the white-banded mediums."

06:29 Perez is also on the mediums, and goes up to 11th.

06:30 CRAIG SCARBOROUGH: "Red Bull has been running with flo-vis paint applied to the car. This oily, fluorescent liquid shows the direction of the airflow on the bodywork for correlating to windtunnel or CFD testing. Red Bull had this applied to the rear wing and also the inside of the turning vanes under the nose. This suggests there are bodywork changes in these areas."

Fernando Alonso06:31 So half an hour in, the main developments are:

* Alonso is the fastest in the early laps
* Chilton spun off at Turn 3 and had to be recovered
* Maldonado's car is undergoing work in the garage after his FP1 problems
* Kobayashi will not be participating in FP2

06:32 Magnussen gets a time on the board in 15th place after his late start to the afternoon.

06:33 Latest figures from the main speed trap, located 207m before the final corner:

1 Bottas, 319km/h
2 Massa, 319km/h
3 Magnussen, 317km/h
4 Hulkenberg, 316km/h
5 Button, 315km/h
6 Kvyat, 315km/h

06:34 Magnussen has been complaining of oversteer in the McLaren while on his first medium tyre run.

06:35 Massa grabs the top spot with a 1m40.112s on medium tyres...

06:35 ...but is instantly beaten by Rosberg on a 1m39.909s.

06:36 Morning pacesetter Hamilton goes second in a Mercedes one-two.

06:37 Order now with medium tyre runs complete for most:

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Massa
4 Alonso
5 Magnussen
6 Vettel
7 Bottas
8 Ricciardo
9 Raikkonen
10 Sutil

06:38 Bottas moves up to fourth, so it's an all-Merc top four, two Mercedes then two Williams.

06:38 Raikkonen thrusts Ferrari into the mix, going second.

06:39 The Finn splits the Mercedes with a time 0.035s down on Rosberg.

06:39 Quick lap coming up from Alonso, who's currently sixth.

06:40 Alonso only goes up to fourth, but he's just 0.194s off the pace. It's close.

06:41 Ericsson is the slowest driver to set a time this afternoon. He reported after his first run that the medium tyres were giving him understeer in the mid- and high-speed corners.

06:41 Hulkenberg leaps from the midfield to the top 10 with a time that puts him seventh.

06:42 Vettel is ninth right now but on his best lap of the day so far.

06:43 That brings Vettel up to sixth, 0.252s down on Rosberg. Red Bull believes it is losing a lot on the straights here.

06:47 Vettel improves to third place next time around.

06:49 The majority of the field are back in the pits to take on fluids and prepare for their second runs.

06:50 One man improving is Button, who brings his McLaren into the top 10 in eighth, ahead of Bottas.

06:51 BEN ANDERSON: "Less than four tenths covering the top seven with less than 40 minutes to run in FP2.

"This is the closest session of the season so far at the top of the order, with Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and Williams all in the mix.

06:56 JONATHAN NOBLE has found out details of a software problem that afflicted Ferrari in the opening laps of the Australian GP:

Ferrari had software issue in Melbourne

06:56 Williams suggests Bottas has the potential to go quicker:

"Currently Valtteri P9 1:40.638 but made a mistake on his quickest lap so there is more to come tomorrow."

06:58 Hamilton goes off track at Turn 4. The Brit is running on used medium tyres at the moment.

06:58 That mistake is making it hard to judge Hamilton's long-run pace relative to Rosberg at the moment.

07:01 The track officials got Chilton's Marussia back to the pits in good time so he's been able to rejoin after his early spin. He's now on his eighth lap.

07:02 That means everyne is on track and pounding round on long runs except Magnussen, Grosjean, Kobayashi and Maldonado.

07:02 Speed trap watch:

1 Bottas, 320km/h
2 Magnussen, 320km/h
3 Hulkenberg, 320km/h
4 Button, 319km/h
5 Massa, 319km/h
6 Kvyat, 319km/h

07:02 Alonso comes into the pits, but it's just a quick tyre change stop and he resumes his long run.

07:04 EDD STRAW: "Almost all the drivers have set their best laps on the medium rubber. The top three is currently occupied by representatives of all three engine manufacturers, with Mercedes (Rosberg) fastest, Ferrari (Raikkonen) second and Red Bull-Renault (Vettel) third. Their best laps are covered by just 0.061s. Based on that, looks like it's close up front, but suspect the long runs as they play out will tell a different story."

07:04 Thirty minutes of FP2 remaining, and if you're just joining us:

* Rosberg leads Raikkonen and Vettel at the top of the timesheet.
* Drivers have been experiencing lots of oversteer on the medium tyre, especially Magnussen and Kvyat.
* Chilton resumes running following his early session spin.
* Repairs to Kobayashi and Maldonado's cars mean they will sit out FP2.

07:04 Grosjean rejoins after a long spell in the pits. He's managed 10 laps so far.

07:06 Rosberg's last lap was 0.9s quicker than Hamilton's as both Mercedes carry out race work.

07:07 Vettel is told by his engineer that "The degradation on the option (medium tyre) appears to be high," before being told to look after them.

07:08 CRAIG SCARBOROUGH: "Hamilton was told on the radio to listen for the DRS tone earlier on. This will be a beep in his earpiece to let him know he has passed the DRS activation point. Drivers get audio cues as it means their focus can be on the track and not on the steering wheel lights. Drivers also have an audio tone for upshifts."

07:10 Speaking of Hamilton, the 2008 world champion is using the same engine today that ruined his chances in the Australian Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

arrowHamilton to re-use Australian GP engine

07:10 Steady, relative, progress for Lotus as Grosjean completes his 13th lap and edges up to 17th place.

07:12 And, for the second time today, Grosjean appears to be stuck in second gear. "Lost gearbox! Lost gearbox!" says the Frenchman.

07:13 CRAIG SCARBOROUGH: "Mercedes is working hard to assess pace and fuel consumption on its race simulations. Hamilton was 0.9s faster but was asked to aim for a zero-fuel target, which is where fuel being consumed matches the predictions.

"Rosberg was asked to brake later, the use of 'lift and coast' tempting him into braking too early. Lift and coast is technique where the driver lifts off the throttle at the end of the straight, then coasts before braking. This saves fuel as the engine isn't being used to drive the car at top speed, which is where it consumes the most fuel. Lift and coast will slow lap times but is the most efficient way to save fuel.

"This suggests Hamilton’s pace could be at the cost of greater fuel consumption, whereas Rosberg could improve lap times within his fuel use parameters."

07:13 Bit more serious this time around, as the Lotus E22 comes to a halt on track.

07:15 A few Gallic shrugs by Grosjean, who doesn't seem particularly happy. He's now on the back of a scooter and heading back to the pits.

07:17 The Mercedes are switching to hard tyres for what is likely to be their final stint of the day in their race prep.

07:18 Perez is told where he is losing time to team-mate Hulkenberg: "Checo, this pace is slower than Hulk. Currently Turn 5 and Turn 12 is big time loss."

The difference between the Force India duo is just under one second.

07:19 Lotus summarises its day in less than 140 characters:

"Well it's a definite swipe left to today's proceedings. Arse. You can quote us on that."

07:21 Into the final 10 minutes of the day, the lead order is:

1 Rosberg 1m39.909s
2 Raikkonen 1m39.944s
3 Vettel 1m39.970s
4 Hamilton 1m40.051s
5 Alonso 1m40.103s
6 Massa 1m40.112s
7 Ricciardo 1m40.276s
8 Button 1m40.628s
9 Bottas 1m40.638s
10 Hulkenberg 1m40.691s

07:23 Several pitstops during these race sims, with Button and Massa among those popping in for quick tyre changes in recent moments and resuming.

07:23 Raikkonen radios in: "My rear tyres are sliding around a lot," and returns to the pits with less than seven minutes remaining.

07:28 Ricciardo is told to "downshift early on the next lap." He currently sits in seventh place, his 1m40.276s the best part of 1.3s off the ultimate pace.

07:29 Bottas and Hulkenberg have completed 34 laps in this session - the most of anyone.

07:30 Chequered flag is out, that's it for today's track action.

07:30 Ricciardo is taking a brief trip across the grass. He's heeding his engineer's advice and is taking it very slow indeed...

07:31 Final top speed figures, taken from the main speed track 207m before the final corner:

1 Bottas, 320km/h
2 Magnussen, 320km/h
3 Hulkenberg, 320km/h
4 Massa, 319km/h
5 Button, 319km/h
6 Kvyat, 319km/h

07:31 Replays show Ricciardo's off-track moment came at Turn 11. No major damage incurred.

07:34 So, the top 10 at the end of FP2:

1 Rosberg 1m39.909s
2 Raikkonen 1m39.944s
3 Vettel 1m39.970s
4 Hamilton 1m40.051s
5 Alonso 1m40.103s
6 Massa 1m40.112s
7 Ricciardo 1m40.276s
8 Button 1m40.628s
9 Bottas 1m40.638s
10 Hulkenberg 1m40.691s

07:36 We'll have a full report online soon, and AUTOSPORT Live will keep rolling all day to bring you the latest from the paddock.

07:43 Rosberg is currently talking to reporters, telling them "It was a decent day, but it was also a challenge. There was massive degradation."

He also hints that fuel-saving won't be an issue for him come Sunday afternoon.

Nico Rosberg07:47 Here's the full story and complete results from that practice session:

Malaysian GP practice two report: Rosberg edges Raikkonen

07:49 AUTOSPORT's reporters are now in the thick of the paddock activity getting drivers' and team bosses' reaction to events in practice today.

07:50 A perspiring (and ever smiling) Ricciardo reckons there is room for improvement ahead of qualifying and, more importantly, the race:

"We were a little bit off the pace this morning," said the Aussie driver. "The long run stuff could have been better, but reliability was good, so I'm happy with that."

07:55 The headlines from FP2:

* Mercedes stays ahead, topping both Friday sessions.
* Some drivers found their tyres were suffering quickly over long stints.
* Lotus's dire problems continued, with Grosjean suffering gearbox issues and Maldonado failing to run
* Chilton spun out at Turn 3 before rejoining halfway through the session
* Ricciardo took a trip through the gravel trap on his final lap.

07:58 Here's Valtteri Bottas's verdict on his day. He ended up ninth:

"It's quite tight. Today, it wasn't the best lap on the option tyres so there is definitely more to come.

"We still need more downforce. In high-speed corners some cars are quite a bit stronger. We have our own strengths, but we need to focus on the weaknesses if we want to improve.

"At least it seems like our straightline speeds are good, which is always nice in the race."

Charlie Whiting08:01 JONATHAN NOBLE has been hearing from FIA race director Charlie Whiting as the Red Bull fuel-flow controversy continues to rumble in the paddock.

With more questions marks over sensor accuracy, would the FIA be changing its approach at all...? No, is the answer:

FIA won't alter fuel-flow rules approach

08:03 Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi: "Pastor's turbo blew out, so we had to change the engine"

08:10 Red Bull has reportedly already had further fuel sensor issues this weekend, but when quizzed about it, Ricciardo said the team had kept that headache off him.

"Someone told me, as I didn't even know about it. If we did have something then the team is probably aware not to tell me."

08:13 Rosberg's fastest time this afternoon means that Mercedes has now been quickest in six of the eight sessions of F1 2014 so far (counting practice and the separate qualifying segments).

The only anomalies are Alonso's first place on Friday morning in Melbourne and Ricciardo topping Q1 at home.

08:16 After his frosty Thursday press conference, Vettel has been on more relaxed form today having been third quickest.

"I think we had a good day. Friday timings are not the most important in the world, but to be out there in the range with the other guys was a decent day.

"It was not a completely smooth day for both of us, for myself still some things to solve on the software side, programming the car, which sounds wrong but that is the way it is."

08:16 And asked what the "best news" he had received from the track today was, Vettel replied very literally:

"It didn’t speak to me, I don’t know why. It didn’t speak Malay either."

Lotus mechanics08:18 A picture that sums up the troubled end of the pitlane today: Lotus mechanics running to meet Maldonado's limping car as it trickles home with a blown turbo.

08:21 We ended practice today with six cars (split between four teams) covered by just 0.203s at the top of the timesheets.

For a while it had been the anticipated pre-season formation: Mercedes one-two, Williams three-four. But then Red Bull and Ferrari got involved too.

Williams man Massa, sixth today, wasn't surprised by this:

"Surprised? No. I am sure they have a competitive car and they are going to be there fighting. We saw also a good lap from Vettel, so he can be there fighting and I hope we can be there in a good direction to fight with them. I hope we can fight for the top five [in qualifying]."

08:30 Plenty going on outside F1 this weekend, including the starts of what should be epic IndyCar and British Touring Car Championship seasons.

Before that, though, the World Endurance Championship is holding its official 'prologue' test at Paul Ricard, where Toyota and Audi go head to head with the new LMP1 Porsche for the first time.

There will be plenty of news out of that event on AUTOSPORT, and here's some with some F1 interest, as ex-Mercedes reserve Sam Bird's sportscar career takes another step:

Bird gets AF Corse Le Mans 24 Hours seat

08:35 Mercedes has pointed out that it covered 100 laps today, just five short of what it managed in Friday practice here last year with a proven engine package.

Looking to the other end of the list, Lotus covered 20 laps today compared to 86 on Sepang Friday 2013, when it was fastest with Kimi Raikkonen...

08:35 Mercedes also confirms that the problem that stopped Hamilton in Australia is resolved so that engine is fine to re-use.

Kimi Raikkonen fans08:48 Here are some fans who will be perky this evening. Raikkonen was second quickest in both sessions, despite some spectacular moments along the way.

Has the Iceman got to grips with the F14 T after the tricky start to his Ferrari return? We'll bring you his verdict later.

08:51 It's storm time at Sepang, by the way, as is often the case at this time of day. Tomorrow and Sunday, this will be when we're qualifying and racing...

09:13 BEN ANDERSON: "It's absolutely bucketing it down here at the Sepang circuit. Plenty of team personnel cowering under hospitality shelters, weighing up whether to wait for it to stop or make a dash for the garages. Had to borrow an umbrella from Lotus to keep dry on my way back to the media centre."

09:19 It was another mediocre day for Sauber, as the Swiss cars came in between in the 13th-15th place region in both sessions.

Both drivers and team are making positive noises about small steps in the right direction, though.

But that progress is coming from getting on top of the existing car rather than any actual upgrades, as Gutierrez admitted earlier:

"We are getting the package working. This is the main focus at the moment."

He indicated it will be the European races before development parts flow.

09:28 Lewis Hamilton was in no mood to make predictions when he met the press after practice.

Asked, essentially, if it was him versus Rosberg for the win this weekend, he replied:

"It's all speculation. How do I know? I don't even know if I'll get round the first lap tomorrow and finish the race.

"So I've just got to focus and hope that I do. Take it one step at a time."

09:29 Both Mercedes men, who were quickest in one session each today, said tyre degradation was a big issue.

But while Rosberg declared it "a lot more than predicted", Hamilton was less surprised:

"It's the same every time we come here. It's too hot for the tyres, they're not working well in these conditions. Even though we've got the hard tyre on they do not feel great, but it's the same for everyone."

Jean-Eric Vergne09:34 Want some rampant positivity? Here's Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne, who was sixth in the morning and 11th in the afternoon:

"A really good day in general. I think we have done a nearly perfect Friday and I'm really happy with the performance of the car.

"We still have to find the best solution for a few little issues that can definitely make us quicker. We look quite strong so far and working hard tonight I'm sure we will have a good car for tomorrow and maybe fight again for Q3.

"It's a happy day."

09:37 For a look at all the drivers' quotes from today in one place, head to our statistics partner FORIX - whose pages also give you a wealth of stats and data information (accessible by clicking on the drivers' names) throughout the weekend:

Driver quotes and comprehensive data on FORIX

09:43 Force India has officially confirmed that it was a fuel system issue that sidelined Sergio Perez for most of opening practice.

"Not an easy day," said the unimpressed Mexican. "I still feel we need to make a big step tonight to be ready for tomorrow."

09:45 Kamui Kobayashi describes his very short run this morning before the energy store issues and oil leak that ended his day struck:

"We did the normal installation lap and then another three laps of the baseline run but then the power started cutting in and out and we had to box to take a look at the problem."

And that was it for his Friday.

09:57 Good news for those globe-trotting Raikkonen fans we pictured earlier: their hero is happy today too. Well, happy-ish. Story on his progress coming up shortly.

10:06 And here's the full story of Raikkonen's encouraging Friday.

It's not exactly effusive excitement, but in the context of his season so far, the Finn's fans will be pleased to know that today's second places on the timesheets aren't totally deceptive:

Raikkonen sees progress with car issues

10:09 A Lotus statement summarises its troubled day as containing "various glitches of differing magnitudes", which seems apt.

The headline elements were a turbo problem for Maldonado and wiring issues causing gearbox dramas for Grosjean.

10:25 Today's pacesetter Rosberg has expressed concerns about the level of tyre degradation following practice.

But Pirelli boss Paul Hembery doesn't think there's anything to be concerned about, suggesting it will be fine once the circuit cleans up with more F1 activity on it.

"If the surface is coated with something else then if affects dramatically what is happening, and you can't underestimate that," he said.

"Of course this is one of the most abrasive circuits of the season. The average temperature during the season tends to be around 25-30, not 45. The cars are sliding a lot as well, so they are putting a lot of energy into the tyres. If you slide too much you overheat the tyres even more and it gets worse and worse.

"If you had a blank piece of paper you'd build compounds for every circuit if you are dong it the right way, but you have four compounds for 19 circuits and sometimes you have better conditions than others. We haven't see anything of great concern."

10:33 We knew the fuel-flow sensor controversy wasn't going to go away until the appeal, especially with two grands prix taking place before then amid a situation where the champion team mistrusts the rulemakers' spec parts, and sure enough things are kicking off in the Sepang paddock.

JONATHAN NOBLE has been hearing from Christian Horner about the latest developments, story coming up in a moment.

10:53 Here's the full story, as Christian Horner says Red Bull needs FIA talks after suffering further fuel-flow sensor problems in practice...

Red Bull in 'awkward' position after new fuel-flow problems

11:03 Back to happier people in Red Bull colours, and Vergne has continued to tell the press how excited he is about Toro Rosso's performance today.

He's trying to keep his feet on the ground though, here's his response to a question about whether he was expecting to be racing against McLaren, Ferrari and Williams:

"We’re still a little bit behind. We’re not dreamers!

"It will be difficult to beat them this weekend, but if I’m fighting with these guys I will be happy."

11:16 Got a sense of Malaysian GP form after practice? Think it's going to be all about Mercedes, or are Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull's encouraging times a sign of a big fight up front?

Make your predictions, challenge your friends and win prizes at every race in the Castrol EDGE Grand Prix Predictor.

11:18 Kevin Magnussen's podium was one of the least predictable elements of Melbourne.

McLaren's rookie seemed a little like he was already getting frustrated with the "can you do it again?" questions this afternoon - especially with the team a little off the pace.

"I have the same expectations and that is to do the best I can.

"I said since Australia I’m not getting carried away.

"The weekend hasn’t even started yet barely so there’s a long way to go."

11:48 That's almost it for AUTOSPORT Live for Malaysian Grand Prix practice day.

Still to come on the site over the coming hours, our reporters will have the latest developments in the fuel-flow sensor row as the FIA reiterates its case, and GARY ANDERSON and EDD STRAW will give their assessment of the Sepang pecking order in the AUTOSPORT Friday Form Guide.

AUTOSPORT Live will return at 4.30am UK time on Saturday morning for as-it-happens coverage of practice three. See you then.

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Friday 28 Mar Start GMT
 Friday - Practice 01:30
Saturday 29 Mar
 Saturday - Qualifying 04:30
Sunday 30 Mar
 Sunday - Malaysian Grand Prix 06:30
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