Formula One: Lewis Hamilton leads way in practice

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LEWIS HAMILTON completed a practice hat-trick as Mercedes power locked out the first four positions in today’s second session for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s time of one minute 38.021 seconds, posted in the initial 90-minute outing at the Sepang International Circuit, remained good enough to lead the way.

Hamilton was only marginally slower in the afternoon by 0.151sec as the teams opted for longer runs rather than going for outright pace.

But it is now three in a row for Hamilton in his McLaren as he was also quickest in final practice for the Australian Grand Prix last weekend prior to grabbing pole for that event at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

There were a couple of minor offs, but arguably only as Hamilton found the limits of the track in tandem with becoming accustomed to the Pirelli tyres as drivers complained of a lack of grip.

Ominously for the rest, though, the Mercedes engine appears strong as the 27-year-old was followed by Michael Schumacher for the works team, the seven-times champion trailing by 0.361sec.