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2016-09-30 07:32

JUMP KEVIN, JUMP! Kevin Magnussen's Renault caught fire during the first practice session at the 2016 Malaysian GP. Image: Instagram

Sepang, Malaysia - Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg edged his team mate and Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton in Friday's opening practice session at the 2016 Malaysian GP.

Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by eight points in the championship following three successive GP wins, was half a second faster in the hot conditions at the Sepang International Circuit.

Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel set the third- and fourth-fastest times, ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Magnussen's car catches fire

The first practice session was halted in dramatic fashion after just 11 minutes when Kevin Magnussen's Renault burst into flames in the pit lane.

Magnussen, who had completed just one lap, was forced to leap to safety when fire broke out in his engine outside the Renault garage.

READ: Rosberg aims to build on advantage as F1 title fight resumes

Pit crew and fire marshals were quickly on the scene with extinguishers to quell the flames.

But with fuel appearing to be leaking across hot engine parts, the fire reignited several times before it was finally brought under control.


With foam from extinguishers and smoke sweeping across the pit lane, organisers had no choice other than to raise the red flags to halt the session.

Magnussen was unhurt, although one member of the Renault pit crew seemed to be suffering slightly from the effects of inhaling smoke.

The session got back under way after a 15-minute delay.

READ: Malaysian GP - First Practice



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