Malaysia Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole at Sepang

Malaysia Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole at Sepang

Ferrari team's engineers have chose to change the engine of F1 driver Sebastian Vettel's vehicle before the qualifying session of the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix, due to start later on Saturday.

Hamilton did not bother to leave the shelter of the Mercedes garage until 30 minutes from the end of the session, and could only set the sixth fastest time, three seconds behind the leading Red Bull and eclipsed by both Ferraris.

Raikkonen, who qualified second in Sepang, was wiped out of the Singapore Grand Prix within seconds of the start as he collided with Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel after making a lightning-fast getaway.

Vettel needed an engine change to his Ferrari after the last practice at Sepang on Saturday and immediately suffered a problem which could not be fixed in the first qualifying session.

Earlier, Vettel had clocked a 1m31.261s on the Pirelli super-soft compound tyres to finish the day 0.604 seconds clear of Raikkonen up front, while Mercedes had a scrappy session.

A record four-time victor in Malaysia, Vettel desperately needs a fifth victory after his title hopes were dealt a severe blow at the last race in Singapore, where the German crashed out on the opening lap to clear the way for Hamilton to win.

"I know the plain facts and that means we still have six races to go and proper points still in the pot, so I will not give up on the title unless all theoretical chances are over", he added.

The heat is on Sebastian Vettel at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

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He seemed set to claw back at least some of the points he lost in Singapore this weekend, with Ferrari displaying potentially race-winning pace and Mercedes struggling to extract speed from their challenger.

"It's painful when you get that close", said Raikkonen.

Grosjean said: "I didn't see anything and then suddenly I had a big hit on the right rear".

"It's been a decent day", Vettel told Sky TV.

"Set-up is always a compromise in Malaysia as you need a good auto in the middle sector, but you also can't afford to lose too much time on those long straights".

"It's very hard to identify what is the auto (rather than the driver) but we know that when Lewis puts the throttle down, he really does it well". 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.

"I really want to improve and redeem myself because a year ago we did not achieve a great result from my side here", he told reporters in a press conference at the Galeri Petronas, here, Tuesday.

Force India got two cars in the top 10, with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon sandwiching Renault's Nico Hulkenberg in eighth and 10th respectively.

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