Lewis Hamilton on F1 pole position for Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton scored a comfortable pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as championship leader Nico Rosberg salvaged a front row start from a troubled end to qualifying

Lewis Hamilton on F1 pole position for Malaysian Grand Prix

Hamilton clocked a 1m32.850s best on his first run in Q3, which proved easily good enough for pole, despite Hamilton having to abort his second run in Q3.

His Mercedes team-mate Rosberg eventually qualified second fastest, over four tenths adrift of his title rival.

The points leader was only fifth fastest after the first runs, having run wide at Turn 6, but he rallied later to beat Max Verstappen's Red Bull to a front row spot by 0.156 seconds, despite another moment at the final corner.

Daniel Ricciardo was only 0.017s slower in the second Red Bull, while Ferrari locked out the third row of the grid, with Sebastian Vettel beating Kimi Raikkonen to fifth by less than half a tenth of a second.

The Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg completed a quartet of row lockouts at the front of the grid by qualifying seventh and eighth, just ahead of Jenson Button's McLaren and Felipe Massa's Williams.

Button made it through to Q3 with a fine late effort that, along with improvements from the Force India pair, meant the Williams of Valtteri Bottas missed the cut by just 0.039s, as Bottas failed to improve on his second Q2 run.

Romain Grosjean beat Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez to the 12th fastest time by less than a tenth, while Kevin Magnussen did an excellent job to qualify his Renault 14th fastest, having missed most of Friday practice after his car caught fire in the pits in FP1.

A late improvement from Daniil Kvyat meant he beat Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr to 15th on the grid by just 0.005s.

This was the first time Kvyat has out-qualified Sainz since June's European GP in Azerbaijan.

Jolyon Palmer's Renault and Fernando Alonso's McLaren-Honda joined the Saubers and Manors in exiting the fray after Q1.

Given Magnussen's performance Palmer had a realistic shot at making Q2, but his final lap of the session was scrappy and he ended up dropping behind the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr into 19th place.

Esteban Ocon out-qualified Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein for the first time, beating him to the 20th fastest time by 0.136s.

Alonso completed a cursory run on medium tyres in his McLaren, knowing he will start at the back of the grid regardless owing to a 45-place grid penalty for various illegal engine component swaps.

MALAYSIAN GP GRID

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m32.850s -
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.264s 0.414s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m33.420s 0.570s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m33.467s 0.617s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m33.584s 0.734s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m33.632s 0.782s
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m34.319s 1.469s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m34.489s 1.639s
9 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m34.518s 1.668s
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m34.671s 1.821s
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m34.577s 1.727s
12 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m35.001s 2.151s
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m35.097s 2.247s
14 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m35.277s 2.427s
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m35.369s 2.519s
16 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m35.374s 2.524s
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.816s 2.966s
18 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.949s 3.099s
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m35.999s 3.149s
20 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m36.451s 3.601s
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m36.587s 3.737s
22 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m37.155s 4.305s


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