Malaysian GP free practice - Friday notes

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com Unlike the accident-haunted Australian GP, things seem to have taken a milder tone to activities for the Malaysian GP Free Practice Sessions this morning at Sepang. Is this a good sign, that we won't see a...

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com

Unlike the accident-haunted Australian GP, things seem to have taken a milder tone to activities for the Malaysian GP Free Practice Sessions this morning at Sepang. Is this a good sign, that we won't see a repeat of the Australian GP? However, let's not rest too assured. The gremlin throwing a spanner in the works goes by the name of mechanical failure.

In the first session disaster struck for both the Arrows of Enrique Bernoldi and Jos Verstappen. The cars were believed to have both suffered from gearbox problems. Not a good start for the Arrows team as build up to the Malaysian GP. Not looking too happy either, is Juan Pablo Montoya, who has had everything but an impressive free practice session. Mechanics were seen at some point hovering around the rear of his BMW Williams. Montoya was noticed leaving the garage rather quickly in fire-proof gear. I wouldn't blame him, since I gather he was close to blowing a gasket.

Problems in the Benetton stable? In the first session Giancarlo Fisichella came out with only 23 minutes to spare while in the second session he did the rumba off into the gravel trap followed by Kimi Raikkonen in his Sauber due to understeering problems. Button opted for the safety of the pit garage instead.

What did Trulli have for breakfast? Jet fuel? There was no stopping the Italian when he took first place in the second Free Practice session while Rubens Barrichello painted the track red by topping the First Free Practice session. The McLaren's of David Coulthard and Mika Häkkinen were seen in the top six, while the Jaguars of Eddie Irvine and Luciano Burti made it in the top ten. I guess the double Vodka's and Martini's did pay off after all for Eddie Irvine.

Qualifying is but a couple of hours away while our cast and crew of the next episode of Formula 1 - Malaysian GP are mentally preparing for the event.

Will the weather change the starting line-up?

Will the gremlin named mechanical failure be unrelenting while being assisted by the Sepang circuit eating away at tyres?

Stay tuned for the FIA's next episode of Sepang: Qualifying - "Slow me down."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton