Lewis Hamilton has won pole for the Malaysian GP 2016 which takes place tomorrow at the Sepang International Circuit. This is his 8th pole of the season, his teammate Rosberg completed a front row lockout for Mercedes by finishing second.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were third and fourth respectively leading the Ferrari pair of Vettel and Raikkonen.

Malaysian GP 2016 Qualifying Results

1. Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Rosberg – Mercedes
3. Verstappen – Red Bull
4. Ricciardo – Red Bull
5. Vettel – Ferrari
6. Raikkonen – Ferrari
7. Perez – Force India
8. Hulkenberg – Force India
9. Button – McLaren
10. Massa – Williams

Held since 1999 at the Sepang International Circuit, the Malaysian Grand Prix comes just after the Singapore GP on the current calendar. Here, Sebastian Vettel has the most wins at four followed by Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso each with three wins. Ferrari leads the manufacturer’s category with seven wins.

Rosberg and Hamilton were out first in Q1, both on soft tires, the track temperatures read 41 degrees Celsius. Wehrlein was the first man to set a time on 1m36.999s, and was followed by teammate Ocon.

Rosberg slashed Wehrlein’s time by 2s, but Hamilton went faster than the German to take provisional P1. Hulkenberg came in third after his first attempt, leading Ricciardo, Perez, Verstappen and Vettel. Most cars were on soft tires apart from Ferrari, Red Bull and Alonso who were all on mediums. After the Williams made their runs, Bottas slotted in fifth while Massa settled for sixth.

For the second runs, the Ferraris switched into soft tires, and as for Alonso, the Mclaren man has a series of grid penalties to serve in the main race tomorrow. The Ferraris managed to up their pace with the soft tires, and were now third and fourth.

Eliminated in Q1 were Ericsson, Nasr, Palmer, Ocon, Wehrlein and Alonso. The top ten comprised of Hamilton, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Perez, Ricciardo, Bottas and Button.

In other news, Perez confirmed that he would be staying with Force India for 2017. Below is the current driver lineup for 2017 Formula 1 season.

2017 Formula 1 Driver line-up

Mercedes: Hamilton/Rosberg
Ferrari: Vettel/Raikkonen
Red Bull: Ricciardo/Verstappen
Williams: TBC
McLaren: Alonso/Vandoorne
Force India: Hulkenberg/Perez
Renault: TBC
Toro Rosso: Carlos Sainz Jr/TBC
Sauber: TBC
Haas: Grosjean/TBC
Manor: TBC

Hamilton and Rosberg were first again to head out in Q2, with a new set of soft tires. The Toro Rossos followed shortly, they were also on soft tires which seemed to be a favorite to many due to the track conditions.

Rosberg set the pace in Q2 with a 1m33.609s, Hamilton smashed a faster 1m33.046s. After the first runs, Verstappen was third behind the Mercedes duo, Ricciardo slotted in fourth leading Raikkonen, Vettel, Massa and Perez.

After the second runs in Q2, Bottas, Grosjean, Gutierrez, Magnussen, Kvyat and Sainz were eliminated in that order. The top then comprised of Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel, Massa, Button, Hulkenberg and Perez.

Perez headed the 10 man pack in Q3 on soft tires, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull followed and likewise they were all on soft tires. The Force India man set the first time on 1m35.173s, Vettel followed with a faster lap which was soon beaten by Hamilton. Rosberg went off at turn 6 and dropped to fifth.

After the first proper runs, Hamilton led the field away from Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Rosberg and Verstappen.

The drivers began their second runs led by Rosberg, they were all on soft tires. Hamilton backed off from his lap just about the same time when the chequered flag flew. And Rosberg wobbled at the final corner, but he was still good for second as Verstappen was slower in the final sectors.

Hamilton thus claimed pole for the Malaysian GP 2016, his 8th pole of the season.

PHOTOGRAPHY BYZak Mauger, LAT Photographicref, F1
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