Malaysian GP: Kimi Raikkonen Leads Ferrari Top Two in Final Practice
Kimi Raikkonen deposed Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel at the top of the timesheets in the final practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday as Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton continued to struggle.
Kimi Raikkonen in action during practice. (Getty Images)
Sepang: Kimi Raikkonen deposed Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel at the top of the timesheets in the final practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday as Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton continued to struggle.
Raikkonen, who was behind Vettel in a Ferrari one-two during Friday practice, reversed the finishing positions when he set a time of one minute, 31.880 seconds around the Sepang Circuit.
The Finn's lap was good enough to beat the German by 0.162 seconds but did not top Vettel's record-smashing Friday benchmark.
Hamilton, who leads Vettel by 28 points in the overall standings with six rounds of the 20-race season remaining, could only manage fifth place behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas.
Team boss Toto Wolff had said the Brackley-based outfit's car appeared to have a "fundamental issue" after Hamilton was sixth on Friday and the Briton was still struggling for pace a day later, despite briefly topping the times.
It was not exactly a trouble-free session for Vettel, however, with the four-times world champion ending the session crawling slowly back to the pits with a problem just as he had been gearing up for one last flying lap.
Despite the late difficulty, Mercedes' struggles will still have encouraged the 30-year-old ahead of Saturday afternoon's qualifying session.
Australia's Ricciardo, who won in Malaysia last year ahead of his Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen, finished in front of the Dutchman again, who was sixth fastest on his 20th birthday.
Verstappen is one of the most exciting drivers on the grid and he added some drama to an otherwise straightforward session in sunny conditions when he collided with Renault's Jolyon Palmer in the dying stages. Both drivers blamed each other. Sergio Perez was seventh, ahead of Williams' Felipe Massa and his Force India team mate Esteban Ocon, while McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne pipped team mate Fernando Alonso to round out the top 10.
Frenchman Pierre Gasly, drafted in as a replacement for under-performing Russian Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso, limbered up for his first Formula One qualifying session with the 16th-fastest time, one place behind team mate Carlos Sainz.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Prince Narula, Yuvika Chaudhary to Quit Nach Baliye 9?
- Sehwag Wins Praises for Training Kids of 'Pulwama Shaheeds' at His School
- Samsung Diwali Sale: Offers on Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy M10s and More
- Xiaomi Redmi Note Smartphone Series Crosses 100 Million Shipment Milestone
- Google Assistant Bug is Causing Battery Drain in Android Phones