Sepang (Malaysia): There was little to separate Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg as Sahara Force India completed a busy day of practice at the Sepang International Circuit here ahead of Sunday`s Malaysian Grand Prix. Resta was eighth in FP1 with a timing of 1:39.298s and 13th in the second session by clocking 1:39.625s. His team-mate Hulkenberg was 10th fastest in the morning session (1:39.440s) and 12th in FP2 by clocking 1:39.464s.
McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton was the fastest racer of the day with a best lap timing of 1m 38.172s.
Mercedes` Michael Schumacher (1m 38.533s) was second fastest, 0.361s behind Hamilton, while Jenson Button was right on his tail in the other McLaren car with 1m 38.535s. Nico Rosberg was with them on 1m 38.696s in the second Mercedes. Resta said they collected good information for the race and that the practice sessions do not reflect everything about the car.
"There was an issue with one of the brake discs in the afternoon session, which probably looked more dramatic from outside the car, so the team made some changes before I started my long runs on the medium tyre," he said.
"It`s always difficult to read too much performance-wise from a Friday, but I would expect the midfield to be very competitive once again this weekend," Resta added.
Hulkenberg said the car was ready for race in hot conditions here.
"I think we learned quite a lot and the car feels totally different compared to Melbourne because of the track characteristics and the hotter conditions. The set-up work we did is promising for tomorrow and the long runs have given us lots of useful data, which was something we missed out on doing in Melbourne," Hulkenberg said.
The lone Indian driver in the fray, Narain Karthikeyan (1:43.658s) of Hispania finished 23rd, just ahead of his team-mate Pedro de la Rosa in today`s practice sessions.