February 26, 2018

Hamilton delighted with 'surprise' pole as Vettel nightmare continues

01 October 2017, 12:42 | Marlene Fleming

Formula One losing its toughest race, says Hamilton

Red Bull Dominates First Practice Session at Malaysia GP

Mercedes struggled to get its upgraded F1 vehicle working properly throughout the free practice sessions at the Sepang circuit, but turned things around just in time for Hamilton to get the job done in qualifying.

The Finn added: "We didn't get all the test items tested today, but I think that is going to be the case with all the teams". Those laps, particularly the first Q3 lap, was very well out together, a very nice lap, I didn't know where it came from to be honest so a little surprised in myself.

The German left the Ferrari garage during the first stage of qualifying but was unable to set a time and complained over team radio that his turbo was not working. This crash eliminated Sebastien Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, and Max Verstappen. He will start the race from the front row tomorrow alongside Raikkonen who qualified second.

"But I can feel for Ferrari and I can feel for Sebastian because I know it's a hard situation". I think we have a very quick auto this weekend, so we should be able to make up a lot of ground.

"It is always a special thing when you are able to extract a little more out of the vehicle than it is willing to do". "That's what I've always enjoyed".

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel suffered from engine trouble to leave him last on the grid.

"It's part of motor racing so - I didn't do anything today, this afternoon especially, so there's not that much to feel about to be honest", said Vettel as qualifying continued without him.

"We just have to maximize every opportunity we get", Hamilton said, offering some sympathy to Vettel.

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Though Lady Luck may have looked favourably on Mercedes in Singapore, she appears to have abandoned the German team in Malaysia.

Hamilton's caution was well founded as he ended the opening day of practice only sixth while his teammate Valtteri Bottas was seventh.

"I hope also that our worst circuits are behind us, like the slow speed, high downforce ones".

"My goal is to make sure I do the better job each weekend, which is not always the case, and Valtteri's getting stronger with understanding the auto".

"Ultimately it was down, it is down in performance but fortunately it didn't make a difference".

Neither Vettel nor Hamilton have fond memories of a year ago, however with both failing to finish the race as Red Bull clinched a 1-2 with Ricciardo holding off Max Verstappen.

"Today we arrived and the auto was much better, still it looked like the Ferraris were a bit ahead".

"We have more tyres than everyone else, we can maybe do something with strategy". You never know what can happen.

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