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The first day of running for the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit saw Ferrari's Felipe Massa emerge as the fastest driver in preparation for the second race of the FIA Formula One World Championship.
Massa topped the timesheets in both 90 minute sessions, setting his fastest time in the earlier of the two. Both sessions were run in hot dry conditions and Massa edged out McLaren Mercedes team- mates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the morning and was pushed close for pace by Renault duo Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen in the afternoon.
After investigation with the Spyker Ferrari team it was determined that Christijan Albers suffered a right rear puncture. Investigation of the tyre revealed a hole in the centre rib.
Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations: Tyre performance was as predicted from our experience in testing last week at this circuit. Most teams opted to run with the hard compound in the morning and conducted comparisons with the medium in the afternoon, showing the medium compound offers better grip and faster lap times. One of the positive outcomes was that the tyre marking of the softer compound showed good visibility, and made it clear for everyone to see which one drivers were using. It was unfortunate for my fellow countryman Christijan Albers in the second session, but investigation showed that his tyre suffered a puncture. Looking at the lap times there are six different cars in the top ten, so we should be in for a close fight in qualifying tomorrow.
To check out our Sepang free practice gallery, click here
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