Hamilton storms to Malaysia pole, Vettel last on grid

Jonathan Hernandez
October 1, 2017

"I thought my auto was not too bad but we didn't do too many timed laps and we can go an terrible lot faster".

Hamilton and his mechanics opted to strip the vehicle of the updates for Saturday and it did the trick.

"The first Q3 lap was very well put together, a very nice lap and I don't know where it came from to be honest, so I surprised myself".

"I didn't sleep very well, just like all my engineers, we didn't know whether we would fix the issue or not. The auto felt good".

Can Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari bounce back from their Singapore nightmare?

Meanwhile, Mercedes endured what their head of motorsport Toto Wolff labelled "one of the worst Fridays I can remember" as Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas struggled.

Vettel should have been among the fight for pole, having set the pace on Friday, but his Ferrari suffered a problem in final practice, so Ferrari worked through the break between sessions to change his engine. "It's more hard to be consistent and, in the very worst cases, you can develop cramps or even problems with your vision". "Anything can happen - you saw that in Singapore two weeks ago how everything can change". "Fridays are when you play around and try some things", Vettel said.

Hamilton started last year's race in Malaysia on pole position and led before the engine expired.

"Of course you can always improve here and there but it was a little bit painful to come so close to pole. I don't know if it's legit or they're playing some games". "When you're accelerating, the battery power's kicking in and then it dies, it just switches off so you lose a lot of performance with that and it was scattered so much over the lap and it was really off-putting". "I've been struggling with the vehicle, so we have to review and try to understand where we have gone wrong with the balance". They soon went to the top of the time sheet, but only temporarily, as both Raikkonen and Verstappen went faster by less than a tenth of a second. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:30.595 5.

The Australian sensed an opportunity on Sunday. I think it's part of racing.

Hamilton had been struggling for pace all weekend but was able to light up the timesheet at the right moment and will start first ahead of Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Both Williams, Renault, and McLaren drivers were also able to progress beyond qualifying's first stage. The race will disappear from the calendar after Malaysia's government decided it would no longer cover the $67 million a year cost of staging the loss-making event.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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