Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton came over the rough patch and grabbed the pole position for Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday. While Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who was leading the charts early in the practice, suffered a huge setback when his car’s engine failed and he failed to register time for tomorrow’s qualifying. Vettel’s failure in the qualifying means that he will have to start Sunday’s session from the very last of the grid.
With Hamilton leading the session, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen came at close second while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen followed at the third. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas finished the practice at fifth position and disqualified Vettel stood at the very last of the leaderboard.
Prior to Saturday’s session, Lewis Hamilton failed to even break into the top 5 in three practice sessions. But the fortunes were with him as he rediscovered his magic at the race pedal and aced the fourth practice session. Hamilton now leads the overall table with 28 points and will start the practice tomorrow from the pole position.
With Sebastian Vettel virtually out of contention now, Hamilton’s chances of acing the grand prix have been boosted. After clinching the pole, a buoyant British driver said, “The engineers did such a good job. It’s a surprise to be up here with these guys. But there’s a long, long run down to turn 1 so we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
While reflecting on his unfortunate session, Vettel said, “I think we would have gone all the way today but now we start last. We save some tyres and who knows what will happen tomorrow if we have rain or a safety car?”
“The race is not today and it would be worse if this had happened tomorrow. The car is quick; I am still fairly relaxed. Overtaking here is straightforward and when you have a quick car you produce big drives,” the German added.