SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) — Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in Friday's opening practice for the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix, reinforcing Mercedes as favorite to win Sunday's race.
Hamilton was 0.15 faster than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who put in an improved showing after the team's mediocre performance in the season opener in Australia.
Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg — who won in Australia — was third fastest, ahead of the McLaren pair Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel did less than half the laps of his rivals, indicating continued issues for the Red Bull after he retired early in Melbourne with engine problems.
Neither Lotus completed a lap due to more engine failures, while Force India's Sergio Perez only ran a couple of installation laps.