Hamilton claims damp pole for Malaysian GP

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Lewis Hamilton, in a rain-soaked qualifying session, claims pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday. Having converted his last seven pole positions into wins, the 2014 champion looks to be int eh best possible place for another win on Sunday but niggles and reliability issues on Friday have the man who will start next to Lewis wondering if there isn’t  chance.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel got the timing right as rain fell in Q2 rendering the session frozen as to besting previous banker laps and this caught Kimi Raikkonen out as he was stymied by traffic in the h form of a Q3 qualifying Marcus Ericsson. The Finn will start 11th on Sunday.

For Vettel, splitting the Mercedes duo is a big achievement as Nico Rosberg says he didn’t drive well enough to get to pole or in second place. Ferrari have been raising a few eyebrows this weekend with their pace. It seems that even int eh wet, the Scuderia were able to at least place int eh same postal code as the Merc’s and that’s a big opportunity as we saw last year when Red Bull where the best of the rest claiming a few wins on the year when Merc faltered.

The grid was also punctuated by the performance of Max Verstappen who bested both Williams cars as well as the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. Both Ericsson and Verstappen besting their teammates comprehensively.

For McLaren, it’s a continuing test program and Alonso has made that comment several times this weekend. What seemed to be 4-6 seconds off the pace of Mercedes in Australia has apparently reduced to around 2 seconds and even though the cars are at the back of the grid, that’s a very big jump in performance.

 

 

PosDriverCarTimeGap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m49.834s
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1m49.908s0.074s
3Nico RosbergMercedes1m50.299s0.465s
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m51.541s1.707s
5Daniil KvyatRed Bull/Renault1m51.950s2.116s
6Max VerstappenToro Rosso/Renault1m51.980s2.146s
7Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m52.473s2.639s
8Romain GrosjeanLotus/Mercedes1m52.980s3.146s
9Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1m53.179s3.345s
10Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m53.260s3.426s
11Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m42.173s
12Pastor MaldonadoLotus/Mercedes1m42.197s
13Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m43.022s
14Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m43.468s
15Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault1m43.700s
16Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1m41.308s
17Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1m41.635s
18Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m41.745s
19Roberto MerhiMarussia/Ferrari1m46.677s
20Will StevensMarussia/Ferrari
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Samouri

Excellent performance from Lewis today in changing conditions, to take pole position. Rosberg needs to stop while driving asking for advice, so that the pit wall doesn’t have to respond to him by also saying, ” Can’t help you with advice…Nico.” It doesn’t help his image, and brings back the memory of the incident at Monza last season during FP2 when he asked…..” .how do I drive the car? “.

Negative Camber

Given that Lewis was on the back foot missing FP1 and most of FP2, he did a brilliant job.