March 27, 2015
Over the course of Friday's 180 minutes of free practice, Carlos Sainz has already rattled off a race distance plus one lap, having completed 57 laps of the Sepang circuit. His Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate, Max Verstappen, did 53, having lost a bit of time in the morning session, with a puncture.
Our Spanish driver was fifth fastest in the morning and only 14th in the afternoon, while the Dutchman was seventh this morning and eighth in the second session. Both drivers were reasonably happy with the balance of the STR10, but there's still plenty of work to do to extract all the potential from the package for the rest of this weekend and the second round of the championship.
Tomorrow's later schedule with qualifying only starting at 5pm means the weather will become even more of a factor as the traditional afternoon storm could hit the track during the grid deciding session. Today, it was the heat that created interesting challenges, with the track temperature soaring to over 60 degrees, which as many people pointed out is hot enough to fry an egg. Now we must see what interesting plans our engineers can cook up for tomorrow!
There was a Mercedes at the top of both of today's time sheets, with Lewis Hamilton setting the fastest time of the day, the Englishman being the only driver to get under the 1m 40s barrier. Kimi Raikkonen was second for Ferrari ahead of Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes. Daniil Kvyat was fourth for Red Bull, with the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa completing the top six. Tomorrow, the cars take to the track for the final hour of free practice at 2pm local time.