Saturday, 29 March 2014

Hamilton takes pole in dramatic Malaysian qualifying

(Mercedes AMG F1 Team)
Lewis Hamilton took his second consecutive pole position in a dramatic qualifying session for Sunday's Malaysian GrandPrix at the Sepang International circuit. The session was delayed due to monsoon conditions and when the session did get underway the red flags were brought out after Caterham's Marcus Ericsson had a nasty incident. Thankfully he walked away unhurt.
Hamilton will start the race ahead of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel who showed that Red Bull Racing have made some major strides since the Australian Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg was left disappointed after trading fastest laps with his team mate he will start the race from third on the grid ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
Alonso had an eventful session after he was involved in an incident with Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat which resulted in the Spaniard having to undergo repairs. Despite this he managed to get back out on track and will start tomorrow's race from the second row just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull.
Kimi Raikkonen will be a little disappointed after outperforming Alonso in practice the Finn will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from 6th on the grid just ahead of Sahara Force India's Nico Hulkenberg who should be very happy with his performance in the VJM07.
Kevin Magnussen will be happy with his performance for McLaren after out-qualifying team-mate Jenson Button. The McLaren duo will start 8th and 10th. Button admitted that he made the wrong call having opted for the intermediate tyre in Q3 while Magnussen used the Intermediate tyre.
Jean Eric Vergne will be happy as he managed to qualify in 8th place in his Toro Rosso which is a great result for the Italian team. It was a disappointing day for the Williams Martini Racing team as neither car made it into the top ten with Felipe Massa starting the race from 13th on the grid while Valtteri Bottas will start from 15th, however the Finn is under investigation for allegedly impeding Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
It was another disappointing session for the Lotus F1 Team because although they showed an improvement from qualifying in Australia they will start in 16th place for Romain Grosjean and 17th for Maldonado. The Enstone based team will be hoping for a better performance in the race tomorrow.
While his team mate had a great qualifying session Force India's Sergio Perez had a disappointing day as he will start the race from 14th on the grid.
Adrian Sutil had a disastrous qualifying as he will start the race from 18th on the grid for the Sauber F1 Team while team mate Esteban Gutierrez will start the Malaysian GrandPrix from 12th on the grid.
Jules Bianchi was the best of the 'new teams' as he qualified 19th for the Marussia F1 Team. Kamui Kobayashi will start the race from 20th in the Caterham with Max Chilton in the second Marussia in 21st place. Following his accident in Q1 Marcus Ericsson will start the race from the back in 22nd place.
It will be interesting to see what the weather does for the race tomorrow because as it showed today it is always unpredictable in Malaysia which should make for an exciting race. The race gets underway at 9AM (Irish time)
UPDATE 12:22: Valtteri Bottas has been given a three place grid penalty after being deemed to have blocked Daniel Riccardo and as a result the Williams driver will start the race from 18th place on the grid.
©Ben Johnston 2014

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