SEPANG, Malaysia, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus put on a strong performance on Friday in first-day practice during the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix, after an outstanding two-stop victory in Melbourne last week.
The Finnish ranked second in the first practice but came up to top in the second practice session with the fastest lap time of 1:36.569 at the 5.543 km Sepang International Circuit.
James Allison, Technical Director of Lotus, said Raikkonen was very relax and confident this year.
"He drove the race incredibly patiently as I think he knew he had a good car," Allison told a press conference after the practice sessions. "He looks after the tyres and only going quickly when he needed to."
Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel continued his steady performance, ranking third and second respectively in the two practice sessions.
His Red Bull teammate Mark Webber set the fastest lap time in the morning but dropped to the fifth place in the second practice.
Fernando Alonso, who won the Malaysian Grand Prix last year, ranked fourth in the two sessions. The other Ferrari driver Felipe Massa ranked third in the second practice.
The teams were conducting tests on the new hard-compound tyres with orange marking in the morning, before putting on the white medium-compound tyres in the second session. A heavy downpour in the afternoon also provided the teams with chances to test the wet tyres.
The third practice and the qualifying will be held on Saturday.