Lewis Hamilton claimed his 57th career pole position and got within three-tenths of the all-time lap record in Malaysia, as he looks to retake the lead in the drivers’ championship.
The current world champion was the man that dominated qualifying recording the fastest time set around the Sepang International Circuit. Mercedes also has the opportunity to win their third constructors’ title in a row at their second home race.
Jenson Button may have hit traffic in qualifying, leaving him frustrated on the team radio, however he will line up P9 on the grid for what will be his 300th Grand Prix! It is a great performance for the team who are looking particular strong around this circuit.
Felipe Massa had a decent qualifying after a few weekends for Williams that may not have gone to plan. He will line up in tenth.
A newly turned 19-year-old; Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had a stunning qualifying starting in third position. However, he will be starting on part of the track where there was an oil leak from a previous support series. It is expected that Red Bull will take the fight to Mercedes, which could delay them taking the constructors’ title.
Both Force India’s had a great day after a fantastic weekend as a whole. Hulkenberg will start eighth while Perez will start ahead of him in seventh. This is crucial for the team who are trying to achieve their highest position they’ve got close to in the constructors within their racing history (fourth).
Nico Rosberg has been very solid throughout the weekend however in qualifying he did make mistakes on the final turn which cost him pole and will be starting none the less on the front row.
Fernando Alonso has shown very strong pace all weekend, however a 45 place grid penalty will leave him starting at the back of the grid. We should however, expect him to most likely be fighting for points come Sunday.
Unfortunately for Valtteri Bottas he was unable to make it into Q3 after making a mistake on his lap. The team also used an extra set of tyres, however he will get a free choice of tyres for the race on Sunday.
Both Toro Rossos didn’t have a smooth qualifying. This track is not that suits them as much as some of the other tracks on the calendar. But none-the-less it was a good qualifying effort for young Russian Daniil who did out qualify his teammate Carlos Sainz.
Sebastian Vettel was only able to qualify at best fifth ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari will be trying their best to try and fight for maximum results. This was the race that last year Vettel had won at the start of his career with the Italian team.
Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas