Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back poles after he beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by 0.074 seconds in what was a tricky qualifying session, interrupted by a 15-minute thunder storm.
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Ferrari drivers Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen look much closer to the Mercedes at Sepang than they were in Australia during the season opening grand prix. Though they could not stop Lewis Hamilton from taking pole, Vettel did manage to avoid a 10 straight Mercedes front row lockout when he finished ahead of Nico Rosberg, who was pushed to the second row.
The Maranello based team are secretly optimistic about the race, with Vettel hoping to fight for a win. On the other hand, Kimi Raikkonen had a bad qualifying session, after the Finn was caught out by the rain and thus will start in 11th place.
Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat managed to qualify ahead of team Williams on a wet track and will now start on the second and third rows respectively.
Max Verstappen matched his father Jos' best qualifying performance when he made it to sixth place after an impressive lap in tricky conditions.
McLaren continue to struggle with their new power unit and start from the back of the grid just ahead of the Manor Racing cars after being knocked out in Q1 yet again.
Top 10 results of the qualifying session from the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia:
- LC Hamilton (GBR)Mercedes 1'49.834
- S Vettel (GER)Ferrari 1'49.908
- N Rosberg (GER)Mercedes 1'50.299
- D Ricciardo (AUS)Red Bull 1'51.541
- D Kvyat (RUS)Red Bull 1'51.951
- M Verstappen (NED)Toro Rosso 1'51.981
- F Massa (BRA)Williams 1'52.473
- R Grosjean (FRA)Lotus 1'52.981
- V Bottas (FIN)Williams 1'53.179
- M Ericsson (SWE)Sauber 1'53.261