Mark Webber edges McLaren duo in Malaysia

Mark Webber saw his practice advantage dramatically slashed in the second session for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, but still emerged as top dog.

Webber finished a staggering 1.6secs clear of Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren after the first 90-minute run at the Sepang circuit, with every other rival over two seconds off the pace of the Red Bull.



The obvious conclusion was that for the majority of the field that first session was all about set up and understanding the tyres in light of the heat and humidity Pirelli had yet to experience on their return to Formula One.



Come the conclusion to the second run, with the track temperature peaking at a scorching 47 degrees Celsius and with an air temperature of 32, Webber again topped the timesheet, but only by 0.005secs.



Webber is naturally keen to put the disappointment of the season-opening race in Australia 12 days ago behind him when he found himself in the shadow of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.



Whilst practice generally only offers a guideline as to the weekend to come, it is fair to assume Red Bull and McLaren will likely be fighting over the podium places come Sunday.



Reigning champion Vettel, after his dominant display at Melbourne's Albert Park, finished fourth, 0.214secs behind Webber.



Sandwiched in between the duo were McLaren pair Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, the latter 0.134secs adrift of Webber.



As for the rest of the field, they were staring at a yawning gap of over a second to Webber, with Mercedes' Michael Schumacher in fifth and Felipe Massa in his Ferrari sixth, the former team-mates at the Maranello marque separated by just a thousandth of a second.



A further gap of 0.4secs followed to Schumacher's team-mate Nico Rosberg, with fellow German Nick Heidfeld a respectable eighth in light of what unfolded for Renault in the earlier session.



After an investigation by the team, after Heidfeld and team-mate Vitaly Petrov both suffered failures that saw them lose their front-right and front-left tyres respectively, the cause was found to be an issue with the suspension uprights.



Both cars were delayed before they took to the track for the second session as the team exercised every precaution, and thankfully both emerged unscathed.



Petrov, following his third place in Australia, finished in 13th and 2.3secs off Webber.



In between the Renault duo were Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in ninth and the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari in 10th.



The Williams duo of Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello were 11th and 12th, the former after a crash into an advertising hoarding for one of the team's former sponsors.



The rookie Venezuelan strangely lost control of his car on the entry road to the pit lane, but after minor repairs was able to return to the track.



Paul di Resta, who claimed a point on his rookie debut Down Under, again frustratingly for the Scot sat out the first session in favour of reserve Nico Hulkenberg.



But Di Resta at least finished the second session quicker than both Hulkenberg and team-mate Adrian Sutil, although 2.7secs off Webber.



After a suspension failure in first practice that pitched Virgin's Jerome D'Ambrosio into the gravel at high speed, the Belgian was unable to take part later on as the team failed to complete their repairs in time.



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific