Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 MALAYSIAN GP: HAMILTON ON POLE, VETTEL NEXT TO HIM

Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari to pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix by less than a tenth of a second in a rain-affected Formula 1 qualifying session. Hamilton's first flying lap on intermediate tyres in Q3 proved enough to secure top spot, as Vettel split the reigning F1 world champion from his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by qualifying second.

The two Mercedes drivers appeared to get in each other's way in the crucial closing stages of the session, and Hamilton failed to improve on his final run while Rosberg's final lap was only good enough for third. Red Bull team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat were fourth and fifth, just ahead of the Toro Rosso of teenaged rookie Max Verstappen, who rounded out the top six.

The drivers who began the session on full wet tyres and had to switch to intermediates filled the remaining spots in the top 10. Romain Grosjean's Lotus split Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who could only manage seventh and ninth fastest times respectively, while Marcus Ericsson's Sauber rounded out the Q3 times.

 P.    DRIVER             TEAM          TIME        GAP  
 1. Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes AMG   1:49.834
 2. Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull       1:49.908   + 0.074
 3. Nico Rosberg        Mercedes AMG   1:50.299   + 0.465
 4. Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull       1:51.541   + 1.707
 5. Daniil Kvyat        Red Bull       1:51.951   + 2.117
 6. Max Verstappen      Toro Rosso     1:51.981   + 2.147
 7. Felipe Massa        Williams       1:52.473   + 2.639
 8. Romain Grosjean*    Lotus          1:52.981   + 3.147
 9. Valtteri Bottas     Williams       1:53.179   + 3.345
10. Marcus Ericsson     Sauber         1:53.261   + 3.427
* Grid penalty 2 places
    Q2 Fastest time: Nico Rosberg 1:39.377               
11. Kimi Räikkönen      Ferrari        1:42.173   + 2.769
12. Pastor Maldonado    Lotus          1:42.198   + 2.821
13. Nico Hulkenberg     Force India    1:43.023   + 3.646
14. Sergio Perez        Force India    1:43.469   + 4.092
15. Carlos Sainz JR.    Toro Rosso     1:43.701   + 4.324
    Q1 Fastest time: Lewis Hamilton 1:39.269             
16. Felipe Nasr         Sauber         1:41.308   + 2.039
17. Jenson Button       McLaren        1:41.636   + 2.367
18. Fernando Alonso     McLaren        1:41.746   + 2.477
19. Roberto Merhi       Manor          1:46.677   + 7.408
20. Will Stevens        Manor             no time set
    107% time: 1:46.218