Despite being without the services of newly announced Spyker F1 test driver Fairuz Fauzy, Malaysia battled back from the loss of rookie track time to lie just outside the top ten after the first day of running in Australia.

With the team forced to sit on the sidelines which the rookie session took place, the Malaysian team found themselves an hour behind most of their rivals when Alex Yoong headed out onto the track for the third and final session of the day, posting times just outside the top ten as he worked on many of the routine tasks normally performed by Fauzy during his time at the wheel.

Working on preparing the car and starting to develop a set-up for the races, Yoong finished the session 14th quickest and was happy with how his weekend had started.

"With Fairuz not being here, I had to use some of our session with work associated with the installation of a new engine and so we didn't have the chance to make the best of the new tyres," he said. "So we're not worried about our overall lap times, and it was a satisfactory time. However, we still need to find some time in the car, as on old tyres we need to be a bit quicker. We will be reviewing of data and making some car changes but I'm sure we'll be okay for tomorrow."

Team chief executive Jack Cunningham admitted that the loss of Fauzy for the weekend had been a blow, but said the team wasn't far off where it hoped to be.

"We know how valuable it is to have a driver for the Friday morning session, and particularly for weekends like this, when we have an engine change," he said. "But the team have coped well and although they're not as far forwards with preparations as others, we're not too far off and it is ground we are certain we can make up before qualifying."



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