Nico Rosberg of the Mercedes Formula 1 team set the fastest time in free practice 2 on Friday, March 28, in Sepang, ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix. His time was 1m 39.909s, according to Formula 1. However, the lustrous perceived lead Mercedes may have had in pre-season testing and by winning the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago tarnishes somewhat when this time is considered in relation to others.
The top 11 times on Friday were set by cars coming in within one second of Rosberg's time. It appears that Ferrari and Red Bull are both closing in on Mercedes.
Rosberg's time was only 0.035s faster than Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen's 1m 39.944s and just 0.61s better than Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel at 1m 39.970s. Rosberg's team-mate at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, set the fourth fastest time in FP2 at 1m 40.051s or a mere 0.142s slower than Rosberg.
According to NBCSN, American fans living in the Eastern time zone who wish to watch the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix will need to either stay up very late, get up very early, or record the qualifying session and race to watch later or choose to watch re-broadcasts. Below is the TV schedule for Saturday and Sunday:
Malaysian Grand Prix TV schedule:
Saturday, March 29, 2014:
*4:00 a.m. Eastern -- Qualifying, NBCSN -- LIVE
Sunday, March 30, 2014:
2:00 a.m. Eastern -- Qualifying, NBCSN -- Re-broadcast
*4:00 a.m. Eastern -- Malaysian Grand Prix, RACE -- NBCSN -- LIVE
3:00 p.m. Eastern -- Malaysian Grand Prix, Race -- NBCSN -- Re-broadcast
Going into the Malaysian Grand Prix, the second race of the 2014 season, Nico Rosberg leads the drivers' championship with 25 points, and McLaren leads the constructors' championship with 33.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. She is writing a book about racers and racing. Check out her blog at Motor Sport Muse.