Hamilton fastest in Malaysian GP practice

CHRIS LINES AP Auto Racing Writer Published:

SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) -- McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in both practice sessions Friday for the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who took the pole position in last week's season-opening race in Australia, established himself as favorite to repeat the feat here Saturday by setting a time that was a third of a second quicker than Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and McLaren teammate Jenson Button in the afternoon session.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was fourth fastest in the afternoon, ahead of Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

The best times were more than 3 seconds off last year's pole position lap, indicating much room for improvement on Saturday.