Raikkonen sets pace in Malaysia

Raikkonen sets pace in Malaysia

Kimi Raikkonen shook off his disappointing start to the season and an incident in his car as Ferrari recorded the two quickest times in the second practice session at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Ferrari endured their worst start to the season in 17 years when Raikkonen and teammate Felipe Massa failed to finish last week’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The winner in Sepang last year, Raikkonen set the sixth fastest time in today’s opening practice, although he had to cut short his session and was seen jumping out of his car in the pits with smoke billowing out of the cockpit.

It seemed initially that the cockpit’s fire extinguisher had been accidentally triggered, but it was later suggested that the car’s KERS batteries had overheated.

The Finn shook off that incident though to record a time of one minute 35.707 seconds in overcast conditions in the afternoon, 0.125secs ahead of Massa.

Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull was third while Nico Rosberg, who had topped all three practices in Australia and the opening session in Malaysia, was fourth for Williams.

Mark Webber was fifth in the second Red Bull while the Brawn pair of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button were sixth and seventh respectively.

Kazuki Nakajima was eighth in the second Williams with Heikki Kovalainen’s McLaren and Nelson Piquet’s Renault in ninth and 10th respectively.

World champion Lewis Hamilton could only manage 11th place with a time of 1:36.401, with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, the driver whom he has been embroiled in controversy with following his disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix, just behind in 12th.

Giancarlo Fisichella sustained damage to the front wing and front left wheel of his Force India after running wide on turn 11, going over the curb and through the gravel before crashing into the tyre wall.

Timo Glock also had an eventful session in his Toyota as he spun on turn seven and then made a run through the gravel at turn six a couple of laps later.

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