For much of the season it has been the Ferrari driver who has had the upper hand. The Haas and Sauber drivers made up the bottom four, with Gorsjean's mechanics facing a late night to put his vehicle back together ahead of final practice session on Saturday.
"Somehow we managed to turn it around and it is a real surprise to be up here with these guys", added Hamilton, who secured his ninth pole of the season at the last-ever running of the race. "I'm very grateful." Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, the same position the Australian started from previous year when he led Verstappen to a Red Bull one-two. "For sure it's not ideal, not what you want especially on a day where you feel you've got it in you, got it in the auto".
He will start at the back of the grid despite being consistently quickest during practice.
"I think we have a very quick vehicle this weekend so we should be able to make up a lot of ground", said the record four-times Malaysia victor, who consoled his heartbroken mechanics after getting out of his auto.
Ferrari had already made the fourth change on Saturday, when an electronic malfunction was detected late into the third practice session.
Pilot MercedesLewis Hamilton showed the best result during qualifying heats at the Grand Prix of Malaysia. You can compare Malaysia a little bit to Silverstone, where we have been very good.
"If it happened tomorrow it would be more of a problem". Verstappen was taken out in the Vettel crash two weeks ago in Singapore and is due for a strong finish.
Raikkonen was a first-bend casualty in the Singapore carnage along with Max Verstappen.
The victory was the second of Verstappen's grand prix career, after a first in Spain past year, and came a day after his birthday.
"I think Lewis is a massive step closer to that fourth title that he wants", Baldwin told CNN. "I don't really know what happened to Sebastian today. It's a nice circuit but the only thing you see is the airport, the hotel next to the airport and the circuit, so you can choose from that what you're going to miss", Raikkonen said. We went back to one auto trying one, one vehicle trying another.
"I didn't sleep well last night", the 32-year-old British driver said.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled in both the wet-weather FP1 and the dry FP2, placing no higher than sixth in either session.
Meanwhile, the organiser of one of the support events apologised to spectators after every vehicle ran out of fuel and embarrassingly failed to complete the race.
"Today we arrived and the auto was much better, it still looked like the Ferraris were a bit ahead so we had some big calls to make".
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Sepang International Circuit for their hospitality and professionalism over the years, and their ongoing commitment to motorsport".
Malaysia's government, who have bankrolled the event since its inception, in April announced they were no longer prepared to shell out $67 million a year to stage it.
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