Lewis Hamilton set the fastest ever lap at Sepang on his way to a dominate pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The world champion looked strong through-out the session to take pole by half a second over team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton was hoping this weekend to retake control of the world championship after he was overtaken by Rosberg in Singapore. Hamilton told the press conference he “could of gone faster.” Red Bull once again out qualified the Ferrari’s which puts them in a fight tomorrow after both teams looked strong in practice.
Hamilton told Sky Sports “It will be a close race because they [rivals] have very good long runs. But I think we were looking pretty good also.”
Max Verstappen will start third after going .04 faster than team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in fourth which will be a brilliant birthday present for the Dutchman who turns nineteen today.
Both Mercedes made mistakes on there last runs in Q3, with Hamilton locking up on his last lap and Rosberg was two tenths down on Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel starts fifth after out qualifying Kimi Raikkonen. Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg put in a good performance going ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.
After a good start early on this year Williams still appear to be sliding down the grid, Felipe Massa got through to Q3 but finished tenth. But Valtteri Bottas locked up on his last lap in Q2 just missing out on the last session by .03 of a second.
Normally, its Daniil Kyvat being out-qualified by Carlos Sainz but things looks to be turning up as he fights for his future.
Romain Grosjean out qualified Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez by less than a tenth of a second. After suffering a fire on Friday it was a good recovery for Kevin Magnussen who out qualified by team-mate Joylon Palmer. Palmer was unable to unlock the performance by Magnussen to show the potential.
Palmer dropped behind the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr into 19th place. Palmer said “It was crap, I drove terribly. I made a wrong choice on the set-up. Terrible.”
Fernando Alonso only did what he needed to qualify because of the grid penalties which see him start last. The plan as a result of an engine penalty that meant he was going to be at the back of the grid.