Kevin Magnussen narrowly avoids cockpit fire during Malaysian GP practice

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice

The first practice session at the Malaysian Grand Prix was red flagged just seven minutes in after Kevin Magnussen's Renault caught fire in the pit lane, forcing the Dane to jump from his car and flee for safety. 

Fuel was pouring out of the car, and despite mechanics quickly tackling the fire with extinguishers, the car continued to blaze for the next ten minutes.

Nobody was harmed in the incident and Renault technical director Nick Chester said: "We were running the tank full and we were running some experimental parts in preparation for Mexico, so it was a different setup to the other car. 

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"We are looking at what happened."

The Danish driver had just completed two installation laps and his car was just about to retreat into the garage before he was forced to evacuate due to the outbreak of flames.

Practice was stopped at Sepang for the pit lane to be cleared, but the job took longer than expected in the 34-degree heat, as mechanics and stewards rushed to put the fire out.

Magnussen commented: "Everything worked well on the car on the in lap, I just saw the smoke and got out...The fuel kept being pumped out and obviously it caught fire with the engine cover being hot."

The Dane got back out on track for P2 in which he managed to complete 19 laps with no further issues with his RS16 car.

You can see the footage in the video below.

Nico Rosberg will be looking to extend his 12-point advantage over teammate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the driver's standings this weekend, whilst Magnussen will be looking to qualify well and add to his season tally of seven points. 

Sebastian Vettel, who won this race last season, will certainly welcome a repeat result after what has been a disappointing season for his Ferrari team.

With track temperatures soaring, and heavy humidity, it should be an action packed race at the Sepang Circuit on Sunday. 

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