Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari to pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix by less than a tenth of a second in a rain-affected Formula 1 qualifying session.
Hamilton’s first flying lap on intermediate tyres in Q3 proved enough to secure top spot, as Vettel split the reigning F1 world champion from his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by qualifying second.
The highest-profile casualty of the scramble for track position to get one dry lap in before the rain came was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
The 2007 world champion was delayed at the final corner trying to pass Ericsson’s Sauber (the last car to make the cut in 10th) and by being passed by Hamilton’s Mercedes at Turn 1, and wound up only 11th fastest.
Scuderia Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari will line up on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix, after qualifying second in a session hit by a massive storm. The rain arrived at the Malaysian track towards the end of the second part of the session and that meant Kimi Raikkonen, eleventh at the time in 1.42.173, was unable to make the cut into the top ten. In the delayed final part, the German steered his SF15-T to second, running two sets of intermediate tyres, with a best lap of 1.49.908, splitting the two Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who took pole in 1.49.834 and Nico Rosberg third in 1.50.299.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m51.541s||1.707s|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m51.950s||2.116s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m51.980s||2.146s|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.022s||–|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.468s||–|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.700s||–|
From motorsport.com – Kimi: “Obviously we got it wrong and should have been out earlier. That’s how it is. I’ve been pretty happy with the car, yesterday and this morning, and the laptime is thereabouts. I expected to be strong in qualifying, but this kind of thing is wasted. It’s part of the game, but it’s disappointing. To be quite good speed-wise, then this happens.”
From autosport.com – Kimi: “I tried to overtake Ericsson because he was in front of me. But at the last corner I couldn’t slow down because there were other people pushing me forward. We just got the timing wrong. That’s how it ended up. I don’t know if it helps to blame anyone. It’s easy to say afterwards that I should have been waiting behind Sebastian but the end result is this and whatever we will do now will not change it. It’s not often that a car is completely perfect so there are always things we want to improve. It’s not the ideal feeling with the car, sliding a bit, but it’s part of being here in Malaysia. It’s very hot and I think you can see everybody has had issues. The lap time is good but the feeling could be better.”
Scuderia Ferrari – Kimi: “Today it was simply a bad time to go out, we should have been out earlier. I did try to pass Ericsson but he was there trying to do his job; it’s not an unlucky situation but it was a mistake. Tomorrow we’ll try to climb some positions, for sure we have the speed but we are quite far from the front and when you start in this position is not going to be an easy race. Obviously there is going to be more risk in the first corner, but we’ll try to make the best out of it tomorrow.”