Hamilton fastest in wet Malaysian F1 qualifying

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 28th March, 2015 - 9:46pm

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Lewis Hamilton tops qualifying from Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg in Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton tops qualifying from Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg in Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton is in the perfect position to continue his winning form after snaring pole in a wet qualifying session for the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang.

Australian GP winner and reigning world champion Hamilton slotted his best lap of 1:49.834s on his first run on intermediate tyres in Q3.

It was Hamilton’s 40th career pole position.

Sebastian Vettel launched a late attack to fall just .074s short, splitting the Mercedes drivers with Nico Rosberg third fastest.

Daniel Ricciardo improved late in the Red Bull to be fourth, one position ahead of team-mate Danill Kvyat.

Teenage ace Max Verstappen continues to impress by qualifying sixth in difficult conditions ahead of Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Valtteri Bottas and Marcus Ericsson.

Qualifying was hit with a heavy tropical downpour early in Q2 which saw all runners return to their garages.

After a lengthy delay Q3 was given the all-clear with most runners commencing the shootout on intermediates with the exception of the Williams pair of Bottas and Massa who were sent out on full wets.

Kimi Raikkonen was left seething at the bad timing that saw him caught behind Marcus Ericsson.

It prevented him from putting in a flyer just as the heavy rain hit, leaving him 11th and with any more running in Q2 terminated.

“Not ideal but not much I can do,” Raikkonen said of his starting position.

“There is always a chance to have a difficult time in the first few corners when you are out of place.”

McLaren’s fresh era with Honda has seen both MP4-30s eliminated in Q1 with Jenson Button 17th, one position ahead of Fernando Alonso although both drivers remain resolute about the team’s progress.

Will Stevens did not make qualifying after a fuel system issue developed in his Manor during Practice 3.

Team-mate Roberto Merhi was 19th but outside the 107 percent rule with stewards later granting both Manor entries special dispensation to start in the race.

In another post-qualifying sequel, Grosjean will drop two spots on his qualy effort and will start 10th after he reportedly jumped the queue in pit lane in Q2.

Result: Qualifying Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1’49.834

2

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1’49.908

0.074

3

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

1’50.299

0.465

4

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull/Renault

1’51.541

1.707

5

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull/Renault

1’51.950

2.116

6

Max Verstappen

Toro Rosso/Renault

1’51.980

2.146

7

Felipe Massa

Williams/Mercedes

1’52.473

2.639

8

*Romain Grosjean

Lotus/Mercedes

1’52.980

3.146

9

Valtteri Bottas

Williams/Mercedes

1’53.179

3.345

10

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber/Ferrari

1’53.260

3.426

11

Kimi Räikkönen

Ferrari

1’42.173

-7.661

12

Pastor Maldonado

Lotus/Mercedes

1’42.197

-7.637

13

Nico Hülkenberg

Force India/Mercedes

1’43.022

-6.812

14

Sergio Pérez

Force India/Mercedes

1’43.468

-6.366

15

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso/Renault

1’43.700

-6.134

16

Felipe Nasr

Sauber/Ferrari

1’41.308

-8.526

17

Jenson Button

McLaren/Honda

1’41.635

-8.199

18

Fernando Alonso

McLaren/Honda

1’41.745

-8.089

19

Roberto Merhi

Marussia/Ferrari

1’46.677

-3.157

20

Will Stevens

Marussia/Ferrari

               _                                 

   _            

#Grosjean will start from 10th after a penalty following a pitlane infringement during qualifying.

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