Hamilton on Pole Again
After a rain-affected qualifying session Lewis Hamilton clinched his second successive pole this season. However, it was not to be a Mercedes 1-2 as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished second just 0.074 seconds behind Hamilton with Rosberg in third. The two Red Bulls of Ricciardo and Kvyat finished fourth and fifth but could a star have been born today? Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen will start the race in sixth spot. A great achievement from the 17-year-old Dutchman in just his second race.
Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start down in 11th place and admitted afterwards: “We got it wrong. We should have been out earlier but that’s how it is.”
It was another disappointing time for the McLaren team with Button in 17th and Alonso 18th. There were signs of some improvement though as they were only 0.6 seconds away from making it into second qualifying.
Hamilton could have set a faster time but seemed to be delayed by Rosberg just after the world champion had set the fastest first sector time to that point.
So again Hamilton starts on pole but with showers forecast for the race tomorrow, this could be a really interesting race. Can Ferrari continue their impressive performance seen so far this week or will it be another Mercedes 1-2?
Malaysian Grand Prix Fact File
The Malaysian Grand Prix is held at the Sepang International Circuit.
It was first held there in 1999.
Initially the Malaysian Grand Prix was held towards the end of the season but since 2001 has been switched to the early stages of the season.
The future of the Grand Prix was put in doubt in 2007 when Bernie Ecclestone described the circuit as “an old house that needs a bit of redecorating.”
In 2009 this Grand Prix nearly became only the second to hold a night race. In the end a decision was taken to start the race in the late afternoon. Not a great idea as the race was hit by rain storms and it wasn’t possible to end the race with half points having to be awarded.
Lewis Hamilton has scored points in his last eight races in Malaysia.
Hamilton has secured pole in the first two races of the season three times in the last four years.
The last driver to win the first two races of the season was Sebastian Vettel in 2011.
Since the Grand Prix was moved to Sepang it has been won three times by Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
Such is the heat in Malaysia it’s estimated 4,000 bottles of water will be used. That’s double the usual amount. Average temperature is 33 degrees Celsius with humidity 70%.
A safety car has had to be used four times since 1999.
Jenson Button has taken part at Sepang the most times and this will be his 16th race.
The car in pole position has won the race nine times.
2014 Lewis Hamilton
2013 Sebastian Vettel
2012 Fernando Alonso
2011 Sebastian Vettel