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Lewis Hamilton quickest in Malaysia as Magnussen suffers fire

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Lewis Hamilton was in convincing form as he headed Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in second practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The world champion was 0.223 seconds quicker than the German, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel 0.661secs off in third ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fifth fastest ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

The day began with a dramatic pit fire involving Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.

A leaking fuel breather pipe forced the Dane to jump quickly out of his car after just two laps of the first practice session, and it took repeated attempts to extinguish the fire as fuel continued to escape while the team frantically tried to empty the full tank.

Magnussen was unhurt and the car was repaired in time for him to take part in the second session, in which he was 19th fastest but incurred the wrath of McLaren’s Jenson Button for blocking the 2009 world champion on his fastest lap.

The was no such trouble for Hamilton, who enjoyed a welcome and needed return to form after a poor last race.

Hamilton finished third in Singapore two weeks ago as Rosberg won, losing the championship lead for the first time since taking it in July and dropping eight points behind Rosberg with six races to go heading into this weekend on the demanding Sepang track.

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