F1: Lewis Hamilton on pole in Malaysia; Sebastian Vettel to start last

Lawrence Cooper
October 2, 2017

Hamilton kept the old parts for qualifying and, after seeing title rival Sebastian Vettel hit engine trouble in Q1, turned in a blistering lap in Q3 to edge Kimi Raikkonen to the 70th pole position of his career - one that left him over 0.6s up on his teammate's upgraded vehicle.

The Ferrari driver, trails Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by 28 points in the standings, will start Sunday's race dead last after power unit problems prevented him from setting a time.

"It feels like I have no turbo", he said over team radio.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari were quicker than Mercedes for much of the weekend and, even though the team now head to the Japanese Grand Prix in a week's time in a stronger position, Hamilton admits there is work to be done on an inconsistent auto.

Max Verstappen celebrated his birthday by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix in style on Sunday, while Lewis Hamilton finished second to extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel. "I'm very grateful." Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, the same position the Australian started from a year ago when he led Verstappen to a Red Bull one-two. "Considering the issues we had with the auto, it's a good weekend".

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Team mate Daniel Ricciardo held off Sebastian Vettel for third, with the Ferrari driver narrowly missing out on a podium having started from the back of the grid.

The Formula 4 South East Asia (F4 SEA) race, a support event at the Petronas Malaysia Formula One Grand Prix, ground to an embarrassing halt at the Sepang Circuit today. "Obviously, it's never good to be behind, I'd like to be in front but we're not so I'm not thinking about that", he added. It happened, there's not much you can do, and therefore not much point in trying to look at it again and again. If the Italian team can maintain its edge over Mercedes for the rest of the weekend, it could provide Vettel with the flawless opportunity to recover some of the 25 points he lost to Hamilton two weeks ago when he crashed in Singapore.

The German crashed out of pole position on the opening lap of the last race in Singapore, with Hamilton capitalising from fifth to win. I didn't sleep well last night because we just didn't know if we would fix the issue. Ask Kimi Raikkonen if he'll miss it and you'll get a rather dismissive answer: 'Not really.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was sitting beside him during the press conference, sarcastically suggested to Raikkonen that he should "come back on holiday" to visit the airport. A woman looks on as Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton's vehicle is reflected in action on her sunglasses during qualifying.

Both Mercedes drivers reported a lack of grip throughout the session, leaving Lewis Hamilton 1.416s off Vettel and Valtteri Bottas 1.459 off the pace. "Next thing I knew I was spinning and heading for the wall", the French driver said.

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