Mercedes cautious ahead of F1's farewell to Malaysia

01 October, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Red Bull Dominates First Practice Session at Malaysia GP

"I think it would have been more hard if I had lost the vehicle somewhere in the race", the German, a record four-time victor in Malaysia, said.

"[In practice] Ferrari was the quickest auto on the long runs and on the single lap, Red Bull was there or thereabouts and we were the third force".

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton is leading after Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel crashed out of contention on the first corner in Singapore.

But Bottas has struggled for form since the summer break and Saturday's deficit was also consistent with a gap of over half a second to Hamilton in every qualifying session since the season resumed in August.

The Finn added: "We didn't get all the test items tested today, but I think that is going to be the case with all the teams".

"Our record there in recent seasons has been mixed but the fundamental characteristics of the circuit, with its sweeping corners and long straights, should mean the vehicle is well-suited to the circuit", Wolff said.

The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were third and fourth on a frustrating day for Mercedes' championship leader, Hamilton who was only sixth fastest with Valtteri Bottas seventh.

"It doesn't work in whatever condition at the moment, so we've really got to understand why and make some changes".

A lap of one minute and 30.076 seconds put the Mercedes man at the head of the grid, with neither Hamilton nor Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen able to improve on that time in their final laps.

Vettel made it out for the start of Q1, but reported a loss of drive, which he described as feeling "like I have no turbo", that he couldn't fix with the switch changes suggested by his team. We've been there in the past, I've seen Lewis' engine go up in smoke in Budapest in 2014. We initially thought we would be very late going out, but we were on time. The lights went off, obviously, we did our starts, everyone was trying to move at the start, and it was the way it happened.

"Not for a second am I thinking about that [the championship]", he said. Sure he will be good tomorrow.

"I didn't know if there was something wrong, if I was on the wrong setting".

"We have limited resources". If Ricciardo were to win in Malaysia, it would snap a three-month winless streak for Red Bull Racing, as the team's last win came on Sunday, June 25th when Ricciardo won at Azerbaijan in a controversial race that may end up weighing heavily into the title tilt.

The German will start from the back of the grid tomorrow. Race coverage starts at 6.30am on Sunday - with lights out at 8am.



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