Malaysia GP: Lewis Hamilton's sleepless night ends in dream qualifying

Sunday, 01 Oct, 2017

Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton can sleep easy on Saturday night after mastering his car's temperamental nature to seize pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton gave up third place in Hungary in July to let Bottas pass him, as a return favor after Bottas had earlier let Hamilton overtake him in order to chase down the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who finished 1-2.

After Vettel initially suffered problems during Saturday's practice session, Ferrari's mechanics completed a speedy engine change with minutes to spare before the start of qualifying.

Vettel's hopes of reclaiming the title lead he lost at Monza ended in the opening moments of the Marina Bay race when he collided with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen, forcing his retirement.

There were heads in hands in the Ferrari garage as Vettel came back in the first part of qualifying, having not even set a time.

Alonso added that he is putting all his energy to finish every race in "the best possible position", with six races left. "I think we have a strong auto", Vettel said at a press conference ahead of Malaysia Grand Prix scheduled this weekend.

I believe that we are in for a real battle of the giants with the Red Bull Renaults also now able to mix it with the big boys of the game.

"I am not anxious, I am excited about making my debut in Sepang this weekend", Gasly said.

It comes after the Ferrari driver was involved in a chain reaction crash at the start of the Singapore Grand Prix that ultimately forced him out of the race, while Hamilton won to extend his lead to 28 points. "I sorry for whatever happened to Sebastian because obviously he was very quick in free practice but somehow we turned it around".

"We go tomorrow. We've saved some tires so there are also some positives but it's a pretty bad day but the race is tomorrow".

"I think it depends on the points you have at the end of the year". "I think we have a strong auto. But there wasn't really enough time so we had to stay with it and it's also a risk changing the auto again".

"I'll have a quick stop in Tokyo on the way to Suzuka".

"It's always a special thing to be able to extract a little bit more out of the auto than it's particularly willing to go". 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.

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.