Hamilton easily claims pole position in Malaysia
Lewis Hamilton won the pole position for the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit after being fastest in all three rounds. This the 8th pole position for the Mercedes driver in 2016.
Mercedes again were dominant. In the first qualifying round Hamilton was the fastest with a lap time 1:34.444, while only 0.016s behind was Nico Rosberg. Interestingly, 11 drivers were within a second during the first part of the session.
Fernando Alonso, who will start from the last position in the race due to grid penalty, Esteban Ocon, Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr, and Jolyon Palmer were eliminated from the round two.
The battle for the last qualifying round was pretty tight. At the end, Jenson Button managed to score 8th best result sending Valtteri Bottas out of top 10 what was a huge disappointment for the Finn in Williams.
Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez, Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr also were out of Q3 while Hamilton continued where he stopped, again setting the fastest lap – 1:33.046. This time, he was more than 0.5s ahead of his teammate and the championship leader Rosberg.
The final qualifying round brought an interesting battle for the 2nd position after Hamilton was too fast for all – 1:32.850. Nico Rosberg will accompany the reigning champion in the first starting row. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo will start from the row two while behind them will be Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa.