Malaysian F1 Grand Prix 2017 Qualifying: Results, Times from Friday's Practice

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2017

Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel drives during the second practice session of the Formula One Malaysia Grand Prix in Sepang on September 29, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN        (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MOHD RASFAN/Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets in the second free practice session at the 2017 Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix on Friday with a time of one minute, 31.261 seconds. 

Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was close behind, as were Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who were all within a second of his time, which was set before the session was brought to an early close when Haas' Romain Grosjean crashed.

After a rain delay, Verstappen set the bar in the wet morning session with a 1:48.962.

Read on for a closer look at the day's action.

                     

FP1 Recap

Formula One's official Twitter feed provided a look at the classification from FP1:

It initially looked as though the cars would not get out on the track:

The weather improved enough for the session to take place, though it was of little surprise when Vettel and Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein slid and spun off the track in the difficult conditions.

It was only ever between Red Bull pair Verstappen and Ricciardo to top the timesheet, with the former doing so for the final time near the end of the session.

The rest of the field struggled to keep pace, with Fernando Alonso of McLaren Honda and Raikkonen the only drivers to manage a time withing two seconds.

F1 provided a look at some of the highlights:

                    

FP2 Recap

Here's the classification for FP2:

With drier conditions, there was an instant improvement from the drivers, and Verstappen quickly set the pace with a 1:32.739, per Pirelli Motorsport:

Mercedes, whose session in the morning wasn't overly inspiring, showed signs of struggle as both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton came off the track minutes apart:

While the pair returned to the pits, Vettel, Ricciardo and Raikkonen duelled at the top of the standings as they each took turn setting track records.

Red flags had to be deployed for Grosjean, though, when he ran over a drain cover that Raikkonen had accidentally opened, resulting in a shredded tyre and a high-speed crash into the barriers for the Frenchman, who was fortunately unharmed:

The halt became permanent as the FIA assessed the damage.

The drivers will no doubt be hoping for a smoother run ahead of qualifying on Saturday, with Mercedes in particular left with plenty of room to improve.