Kimi Raikkonen defied the rain to continue his impressive start to the Formula 1 season, topping the second practice session at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen stopped the clock at one minute and 36.569 seconds at the Sepang circuit, backing up his victory at the Australian Grand Prix last week finishing ahead of defending champion Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa.
Vettel set a time of 1:36.588, while Massa was just 0.73s further back in a session that was heavily affected by rain. Practice was stopped for 20 minutes in Sepang and the drivers only returned with 10 minutes left.
Felipe Massa’s Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso notched the fourth-fastest time in the session with 1:36.985, while Mark Webber of Red Bull wrapped up the top five with 1:37.026.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who could be a dark horse for this years drivers championship, was ninth-fastest in Sepang. The former world Champion said he will have to wait and see what the weekend brings, in reference to his chances of winning.
“We made some positive steps with the set-up over the two sessions today. I had a good long run in the dry which has given us a lot of information to look at tonight.”
“We didn’t learn too much in the wet this afternoon however as the conditions were quite mixed when I went out,” he added.
“We focused mainly on longer runs today so I haven’t done a quick lap yet on either set of tyres; that will come tomorrow. I’m happy with the direction that we’re going and let’s see what the weekend brings.”
Nearly everyone managed to avoid drama when the rain came, although Nico Hulkenberg did spin his Sauber in the pitlane entry.