Nico Rosberg Tops First Practice in Malaysia

Nico Rosberg topped the first practice session at Sepang International Circuit today, as he led a Williams 1-2 in the opening stages of the Malaysian Grand Prix. As in the Aussie event one weekend ago, the two Williams drivers scored the best times of the opening practice, ahead of winning Brawn GP duo Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

It was only during the mid-session that the drivers started racing for lap times, and it was the Ferrari-Williams-Brawn drivers to eclipse the pack. Kimi Raikkonen was the first to score a fast lap, while shortly followed by Kazuki Nakajima. Just before the 40-minute mark, Massa scored a fastest lap of his own, with the Brawns nowhere to be seen.

But they did show up in the last section of the practice session, with Button challenging for the P1 lead and eventually clinching it with the best time of 1:36.430. Barrichello was again only hundreds of a second behind, and the Aussie heros were back on top.

However, in the late minutes of Friday's first session, both Rosberg and Nakajima denied the Brawn GP drivers the first two spots, as they were clocked with the best times of 1:36.260 and 1:36.305 respectively.

The Ferraris went on to finish 5th and 6th overall (Massa and Raikkonen, in that order), while followed by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton. Completing the Top 10 were the two Red Bull Racing drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, followed by Toyota's Timo Glock.

Renault's Nelsinho Piquet was involved in the only on-track incident of the day, as the Brazilian driver made the run-off area in Turn 6 following a piece of his Renault R29 disintegrating from the front of the car.

Here are the complete results of Practice 1 at Sepang:

1. Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota)                      1:36.260
2. Kazuki Nakajima (Williams-Toyota)                 1:36.305
3. Jenson Button (Brawn GP-Mercedes)             1:36.430
4. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn GP-Mercedes)      1:36.487
5. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)                                      1:36.561
6. Kimi Raikkonen ( Ferrari)                                 1:36.646
7. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)              1:36.699
8. Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault)                     1:36.703
9. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)                 1:36.747
10. Timo Glock (Toyota)                                       1:36.980
11. Jarno Trulli (Toyota)                                        1:36.982
12. Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India-Mercedes)  1:37.025
13. Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber)                        1:37.039
14. Nelson Piquet (Renault)                                 1:37.199
15. Adrian Sutil (Force India-Mercedes)               1:37.241
16. Fernando Alonso (Renault)                             1:37.395
17. Sebastein  Buemi (Toro Rosso-Ferrari)          1:37.634
18. Nick Heidfeld BMW (Sauber)                          1:37.640
19. Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso-Ferrari)       1:38.022
20. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren-Mercedes)         1:38.483
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