Sebastian Vettel enjoyed the first day of the Malaysian Grand Prix as the Scuderia Ferrari driver comfortably led the way in free practice, finishing more than six-tenths of a second clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
The German, looking to reduce the twenty-eight point deficit to Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship this weekend, will also take heart that his rival within the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team was more than 1.4-seconds down in sixth position on Friday.
Vettel felt it was a positive day, even if the afternoon session was cut short due to Romain Grosjean’s heavy crash after hitting a loose drain cover, and he now hopes to continue his strong form into Saturday’s sessions and into Sunday’s final – for now at least – Malaysian Grand Prix.
“This morning we had a bit of mixed conditions and there was not so much running,” said Vettel. “This afternoon it was better and the cars seemed to be quite OK right from the beginning of the session.
“Then we tried something new, but unfortunately we couldn’t complete our programme as we had wished to, because of the red flag. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.
“It’s only Friday, usually the day when you spend time trying various things on the car. We would have liked to drive a little bit more, but overall it was a decent afternoon. We have a good car and it’s up to us to make it work in all conditions.”