Pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix was switched to the right hand side of the track following a pre-event request from drivers, AUTOSPORT has learned.
Traditionally the front grid slot at Sepang was on the left hand side of the track, because it gave a better line into the opening corner - which is a tight right-hander.
Sources have revealed, however, that following discussions between the FIA and F1's drivers in the build-up to the season about the impact of Pirelli marbles on the track, a decision was made to switch it.
Although the racing line is not as clearly defined as other tracks because drivers work their way over from the right hand side of the track to the left, a number of drivers felt that if there was a high level of marbles in Malaysia then they would most likely fall on the left hand side of the grid.
FIA race director Charlie Whiting agreed to make the change, and it means that pole position man Sebastian Vettel will now be forming up on the right hand side.
Speaking about the difference it makes after qualifying, Vettel said: "It is very important here to be on the clean side, especially as they changed sides, but we will see."