Hamilton takes Malaysia GP pole as Ferrari falters

Lewis Hamliton scored his 70th career pole

Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel’s championship ambitions took another blow.

Hamilton narrowly beat Kimi Raikkonen to top spot, the Mercedes driver bouncing back from a torrid Saturday to claim his 70th Formula 1 pole.

His championship rival meanwhile will start from last after problems saw Vettel fail to set a time in the session.

The German had a last-minute engine change before the session only for further problems to see him limp back to the pit lane just moments after the session began.

For a time it looked as though the team was ready to send him back out on track in the dying moments of Qualifying 1, only for Vettel to climb from the car.

Max Verstappen was the leading Red Bull in third ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in fourth, with Valtteri Bottas rounding out the third row.

Bottas had been quickest in Qualifying 2, heading the session over Raikkonen while Hamilton could do no better than fourth.

It was then Esteban Ocon who was the fastest Force India driver in sixth over Stoffel Vandoorne, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Ferndando Alonso.

Just outside the top 10 were both Williams, with Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll.

Toro Rosso will also start with both cars down the grid, with Pierre Gasly 15th on debut one place back from Carlos Sainz.

Jolyon Palmer split the Williams, and will start from 12th for tomorrow’s race for Renault.

Further back, Vettel will start from last┬áplace on tomorrow’s grid, behind Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, who also failed to make the first cut.

Result: Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix Qualifying

Position Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m30.076s
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m30.121s 0.045s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m30.541s 0.465s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m30.595s 0.519s
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m30.758s 0.682s
6 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m31.478s 1.402s
7 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m31.582s 1.506s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m31.607s 1.531s
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m31.658s 1.582s
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m31.704s 1.628s
11 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m32.034s 1.958s
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m32.100s 2.024s
13 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m32.307s 2.231s
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m32.402s 2.326s
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 1m32.558s 2.482s
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m33.308s 3.232s
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m33.434s 3.358s
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m33.483s 3.407s
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m33.970s 3.894s
20 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

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