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Hamilton Takes Pole in Wet Malaysia Grand Prix Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position in in a wet Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel joining Hamilton in the front row in 2nd.

With the rain a threat Q1 started under dry conditions with the usual suspects being eliminated. A flurry of activity right at the end changed things up with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr being pushed down into the drop zone. The McLaren duo struggled for pace throughout the session and qualified P17 and P18 with Jenson Button ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Towards the end of Q1 the clouds started building up very quickly. This prompted all the drivers to go out as soon as the light turned green at the end of the pit lane. This turned out to be the best strategy as the rain started falling just as the last few drivers crossed the line for their timed laps. The biggest casualty of the session was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as he could only manage P11 after being slighly held up by Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber. That was all the action to be seen in Q2 as the downpour halted any running.

Malaysia 2015 Q2The deluge abated after the clock ran down for the end of Q2, but it was still too wet for the drivers to go out. After a 15 minute delay and a few safety car runs the action for Q3 resumed.

Straight away the drivers were out on track. The Williams pair fitted the full wet tyres and so did the Lotus’. Everyone else went out on the intermediates. The drivers on the full wets were soon back into the pits switching to the intermediates as track conditions improved.

Hamilton set his fastest time on his first run on the inters if 1:49.834. This was about 1.5s faster than anyone on their first timed laps. Hamiton was held up every so slightly by Rosberg on his second run on a fresh set of inters. Rosberg was on an out lap and on the racing line on the tun to T7, and moved over a bit too late as Hamilton approached. On Hamilton’s second try he was unable to improve.

Rosberg managed to qualify 3rd fastest with a 1:50.299, 0.465s slower than his team-mates time. After the session he said that he just didnt drive well enough. “I just didn’t drive well enough. I’m a little annoyed by that,” he said after the session.

Sebastian Vettel put his Ferrari on the second row of the grid giving Ferrari a second row spot since the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2013. Vettel’s time of 1:49.908 was just 0.074s slower than Hamilton. Ferrari are being cautiously optimistic as they know that Mercedes still have the pace advantage but they are hoping for a strong finish.

Further down the field Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat qualified in P4 and P5 for Red Bull. After a very difficult Australian Grand Prix the Milton Keynes based team are showing an improvement.

Qualifying in an imprssive 6th place was rookie Max Verstappen for Toro Rosso. Felipe Massa could only manage P7 for Williams with team mate Bottas in 9th.

Romain Grosjean in the sole Lotus in Q3 was 8th fastest with Marcus Ericsson in 10th.

Qualifying classification:

Malaysia 2015 Qualifying


Photo by courtesy Pirelli


About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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