Mark Webber was the fastest driver in the first practice session for the second weekend in a row.
The Red Bull driver was fastest for most of the session, before dramatically lowering his time to a 1’37.651, putting him over a second and a half faster than anyone else.
Lewis Hamilton was second fastest for McLaren with Michael Schumacher third.
A late improvement by Nico H?â??lkenberg put the Force India driver fourth ahead of Pastor Maldonado.
Ferrari had a quiet session and spent much of it with their drivers running at fixed speeds on the straights for aerodynamics testing. Felipe Massa ended the session sixth with Fernando Alonso ninth.
Alonso was one of several drivers to run wide at turn eight. Sergio Perez also skidded wide at the corner.
Narain Karthikeyan’s participation in the session came to an early halt as a plume of smoke erupted from the back of his HRT as he left the pits. He eventually came to a stop just after turn four.
Renault driver Nick Heidfeld also hit trouble when his front-right brake locked solid shortly after he’d set the fastest time of the session.
He had to drive the R31 back to the with only three wheels rotating for an entire lap, by the end of which a huge chunk of the tyre had worn away and sparks and smoke were coming from the underside of the car.
Team mate Vitaly Petrov also had problems, spending most of the session in the garage after his installation lap. Once he did join the track he suffered a failure on the front-left corner which sent him spinning into the gravel trap at turn nine.
Late in the session Jerome d’Ambrosio suffered a similar failure at the front-right of his car. The wheel came off entirely, sending him into the gravel trap at the final corner.
2011 Malaysian Grand Prix
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