Share

Lewis Hamilton returns to form in Malaysia practice

Lewis Hamilton

Follow qualifying on the BBC Sport website and radio 5 live sports extra

Lewis Hamilton appeared to be stamping his authority on the Malaysian GP with a stunning lap time in final practice.

The world champion was 0.619 seconds quicker than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg as the teams prepared for qualifying, which starts at 10:00 BST.

The margin was even bigger after each had done one lap on soft tyres – 0.859secs – but Rosberg improved on a second lap.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen split the Mercedes, 0.445secs behind Hamilton.

<!–

Job done (for now). Max Verstappen will hope to have an equally impressive qualifying session after splitting the Mercedes in final practice

The Dutchman’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was down in sixth, but did not do a qualifying-simulation run late in the session.

Ricciardo was behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, the Finn 0.02secs quicker than the four-time world champion.

Vettel had a spin midway through the session at the tricky final corner, which has been reprofiled so it is now off-camber.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.

Jenson Button could manage only 12th fastest for McLaren, while team-mate Fernando Alonso concentrated on race preparation work because he has a 45-place grid penalty for taking too many engine parts and was slowest of all.

Malaysian Grand Prix final practice results

Malaysian Grand Prix coverage details

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/37528337