Johannesburg [South Africa], Sept.30 : World Championship leader Nico Rosberg produced a superior performance as he edged past Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to emerge as the fastest driver in the opening practice session of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.
Rosberg, who surged back to the top in the Formula One standings by clinching his third successive win at the Singapore Grand Prix, was half a second quicker than three-time world champion, Sport24 reported.
Ferrari pair of Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished third and fourth fastest, respectively. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso of McLaren stood fifth ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. The opening practice session was also halted in dramatic fashion after just 11 minutes when Kevin Magnussen, who had completed just one lap, was forced to leap to safety when fire broke out in his engine outside the Renault garage.
Rosberg is currently leading the Formula One standing by eight points..