Lewis Hamilton has won the Malaysian Grand Prix 2017 qualifying, his 70th career pole and fourth straight Malaysian GP pole. He will start the race from the front row tomorrow alongside Raikkonen who qualified second. Vettel was eliminated in Q1 after his car retired with power issues before he even set a time. The German is 28 points behind Hamilton in the championship.

Malaysian GP 2017 Qualifying Results

1. Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Raikkonen – Ferrari
3. Verstappen – Red Bull
4. Ricciardo – Red Bull
5. Bottas – Mercedes
6. Ocon – Force India
7. Vandoorne – McLaren
8. Hulkenberg – Renault
9. Perez – Force India
10. Alonso – McLaren

The garages had a plethora of activities prior to Q1, Ferrari was hurrying up to get Vettel ready as he had taken a precautionary engine change, with no penalty incurred. Mercedes had been slower during free practice while rivals Ferrari and Red Bull lead in terms of pace.

Wehrlein was the first driver out in Q1 followed by Ericsson and Grosjean. Hamilton was also in the mix as well, the Brit had a slow free practice that saw him only manage fifth in the final session. Grosjean put the first time on the board with a 1m34.943s lap, which was immediately beaten by Wehrlein.

Mercedes and Ferrari were on soft tires while the rest of the field was on the supersoft compound. Vettel meanwhile abandoned his lap and limped back to the pits. “It feels like I have no turbo,” he said. The Ferrari man was yet to set a time.

The drivers went into the garage to prep for the final runs, but Hamilton was satisfied with his time. Massa, Alonso, Sainz, Magnussen, Gasly, Wehrlein, Grosjean and Ericsson all went out for the second runs.

Vettel failed to make it back into Q1 and was thus eliminated, Ferrari were now focused on making the car faster for the main race. Grosjean, Magnussen, Wehrlein and Ericsson were also eliminated.

The top ten in Q1 were Hamilton, Verstappen, Bottas, Raikkonen, Massa, Ricciardo, Ocon, Gasly, Palmer and Hulkenberg.

Bottas set the clock going in Q2 with a 1m31.272s before Hamilton went faster, Raikkonen then topped the time board with a quicker 1m30.926s. All drivers were on supersofts in this session.

Everyone dived into the pits with less than four minutes to go, the Mercedes drivers went out again for the final runs, followed by the rest of the field. Everyone but Raikkonen and Verstappen were out doing their flying laps. It was Bottas who emerged on top this time, winning Q2 after setting a time of 1m30.803s.

Eliminated in Q2 were Massa, Palmer, Stroll, Sainz and Gasly. The top ten comprised of Bottas, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Perez, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Vandoorne and Alonso.

Q3 was underway and it was Ocon and Vandoorne who kicked off this session.

Vandoorne had the first time in on 1m31.889s, but a 1:30.076s from Hamilton put the Brit on provisional pole with Raikkonen coming in second after setting his time.

With less than 3 minutes left, the drivers were now readying for the final laps. Raikkonen managed to improve on his time while Hamilton failed to beat his initial time, nonetheless, the world champion still managed to secure the Malaysian GP 2017 pole. A lockup on the final corner could have caused Raikkonen to miss the thin opportunity of beating Hamilton’s time.

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