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Hamilton edge Vettel on malaysian pole

Hamilton edge Vettel on malaysian pole

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 two Mercedes drivers appeared to get in each other’s way in the crucial closing stages of the session, and Hamilton failed to improve on his final run while Rosberg’s final lap was only good enough for third.

Red Bull team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat were fourth and fifth, just ahead of the Toro Rosso of teenaged rookie Max Verstappen, who rounded out the top six.

The drivers who began the session on full wet tyres and had to switch to intermediates filled the remaining spots in the top 10.

Romain Grosjean’s Lotus split Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who could only manage seventh and ninth fastest times respectively, while Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber rounded out the Q3 times.

A thunderstorm in the early stages of Q2 effectively reduced the second segment of qualifying to a single-lap shootout, and delayed the final session by half an hour.

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.

Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus, the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez (who both ran on used medium tyres), and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr – who impressively matched Vettel in setting the fourth fastest time in Q1 – were also eliminated.

Australian GP star Felipe Nasr failed to escape Q1, having struggled to get comfortable with his Sauber’s handling since taking his car back from Ferrari junior driver Raffaele Marciello after the first practice session on Friday.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.834s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m49.908s 0.074s
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m50.299s 0.465s
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
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m52.473s 2.639s
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m52.980s 3.146s
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m53.179s 3.345s
10 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m53.260s 3.426s
11 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m42.173s
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m42.197s
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m43.022s
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m43.468s
15 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m43.700s
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.308s
17 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m41.635s
18 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m41.745s
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m46.677s
20 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari

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