Hamilton on pole as Vettel hits engine trouble

Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix as title rival Vettel was hit with engine trouble.

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After some hectic practice sessions in Malaysia Qualifying got underway at the Sepang circuit with Grosjean and the Saubers first out on track.

Vettel also managed to get out for Q1 having changed his ICE between FP3 and Q1.

Hamilton’s first lap put him on top with a 1:32.380 although he did go very wide at turn 15 and Raikkonen then came across to go 1 tenth faster.

At his first F1 qualifying, lap Gasly went 7th with a 1:33.630.

Meanwhile, Vettel came in complaining of a lack of power as if he didn’t have a turbo. Replays later showed the moment of failure and the Ferrari mechanics didn’t look confident.

Hamiton then went faster with a 1:31.605 with Verstappen then slotting in just behind on the same soft tyres as Hamilton, Bottas and Raikkonen.

Alonso then managed to go 10th fastest in his Mclaren-Honda.

With just under 3 minutes Ferrari looked to be about to get Vettel out but after waiting for nearly 20 seconds they abandoned it and left Vettel in last place, but with the chance to change al engine components as the penalties would make no difference.

At the checkered flag, Sainz and Gasly got up into 8th and 9th respectively as Hulkenberg then split the two.

And with Vettel out on Q1 Alonso was just got out in P15 with Vandoorne also through.

Out in Q1: Grosjean, Magnussen, Wehrlein, Ericsson, Vettel.

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It was the Mercedes’ and Ocon who were out first in Q2 as dark clouds loomed over the circuit.

Hamilton then went fastest with a 1:31.009 with Bottas 2 tenths behind.

Raikkonen then took the top spot off of Hamilton with a 1:30.926 and Verstappen then went second a mere 0.005 seconds behind.

The flag waved for the end of Q2 with all but Raikkonen and Verstappen out on the track.

Bittas then went fastest as teammate Hamilton failed to get any higher.

The 2 Mclarens got into the top 10 as the Toro Rosso’s failed to do the same.

Out in Q2: Massa, Palmer, Stroll, Sainz, Gasly.

Q3 got underway and fight for pole was on but with Vettel unusually absent.

It was Vandoorne who set the early pace on for Bittas and Hamilton to then go on top a 1:30.076.

Raikkonen and Ricciardo then went 2nd and 3rd respectively, with the other Red Bull of Verstappen going 4th. in the initial runs.

With 3 minutes to go the grid went back out for the final pole shootout in Malaysia.

As Ricciardo started his flying lap Hamilton told the team of a lack of power.

Ricciardo came across the line but failed to improve as Verstappen went 3rd to beat his teammate.

Hamilton then improved and only Raikkonen could beat him, but he failed to do so after locking up at the last corner lost out by less than a tenth, with Bottas 7 tenths off his teammate.

 

Final results are as follows

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