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Hamilton tames wet Sepang to claim pole

Tom Howard

Saturday 29th March, 2014 - 9:34pm

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Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole at Sepang

Lewis Hamilton stormed to pole at Sepang

Lewis Hamilton will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from pole position after starring in a truncated wet qualifying session at Sepang.

The Mercedes driver was pushed hard in slippery conditions  claiming pole by just five hundredths of a second from reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel in an improving Red Bull.

Australian Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg was third fastest ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who was lucky to be involved in Q3 at all, after a collision with Toro Rosso’s Danill Kvyat in Q2 left the Spaniard with front wishbone damage.

The incident which brought out the red flags will be investigated by the stewards.

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo will start from fifth alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

Qualifying eventually got underway a full 35 minutes later than planned after a monsoon shower delayed proceedings.

Track conditions failed to improve for Q3 but it was Hamilton who stole the show posting an 1.59.431s early on, which was good enough to secure pole.

Vettel, who suffered from a battery issue in Q1, proved to be the Brit’s closest challenger emerging as the only other driver to record a time in 1m59s bracket.

Rosberg was unable to match the pace of his team mate with his Mercedes a full six tenths adrift of pole and narrowly ahead of Alonso’s Ferrari.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg impressed throughout the session to secure seventh ahead of rookie Kevin Magnussen.

Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne was ninth while a gamble on intermediate tyres left McLaren’s Jenson Button in 10th position.

Despite the treacherous conditions, Q1 didn’t claim any scalps.

However, the session was red flagged late on when Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson lost control at turn 4.

Surprisingly Williams struggled in the wet conditions in Q2 with drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas unable to hook a lap together. The pair will start from 13th and 15th respectively, although the Finn will be investigated by the stewards for an alleged block on Ricciardo.

Lotus showed signs of improvement with Romain Grosjean starting from 16th position ahead of team mate Pastor Maldonado in 17th position.

Malaysian Grand Prix Qualifying Times

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m59.431s
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m59.486s +0.055s
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m00.050s +0.619s
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m00.175s +0.744s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 2m00.541s +1.110s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m01.218s +1.787s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 2m01.712s +2.281s
8 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 2m02.213s +2.782s
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 2m03.078s +3.647s
10 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m04.053s +4.622s
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 2m02.351s +3.310s
12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2m02.369s +3.328s
13 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2m02.460s +3.419s
14 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2m02.511s +3.470s
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2m02.756s +3.715s
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2m02.885s +3.844s
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2m02.074s +4.891s
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 2m02.131s +4.948s
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 2m02.702s +5.519s
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 2m03.595s +6.412s
21 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2m04.388s +7.205s
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2m04.407s +7.224s

See below for Speedcafe.com’s expert guide to the Malaysian Grand Prix

Stay with Speedcafe.com for all the latest news from the Malaysian GP this weekend

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