Hamilton Secures Sepang Pole
Lewis Hamilton led McLaren’s second front-row lock-out as the Woking outfit continue to dominate qualifying. Can he reverse the fortunes of last weekend and convert that into victory? In a closely fought session, less than half a second separated the top five, impressive on a circuit with a lap time of over one and half minutes. second place was between four drivers from four different teams separated by less than a tenth – Mark Webber and Kimi Raikkonen posting exactly the same lap time. The former claimed fourth by virtue of starting his lap seven seconds earlier while the latter has to take a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox. Despite how close it was Hamilton always looked comfortable, however, and for the second weekend running he aborted his second run with the job already done.
With the threat of rain around, it’s anyone’s guess and this grid could count for nothing. What was clear in Melbourne is that there has been a clear divergence in philosophy in between those creating a car aimed at a good starting position and those targeting a strong race performance. Moreover, Sebastian Vettel may regret qualifying on the hard tyres if the sacrifice in grid position is wasted by a wet start.
Qualifying Lap Times
|4. Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:36.461|
|6. Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:36.634|
|Q2 cut-off time:||1:37.477|
|14. Di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:37.877|
|15. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:37.883|
|16. Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:37.890|
|Q1 cut-off time:||1:38.437|
|18. Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:39.077|
|23. De la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:42.914|
107% time: 1:43.974
|Sector 1||Sector 2||Sector 3|
|Schumacher||24.749 s||Hamilton||32.277s||Webber||38.889 s|
|Rosberg||24.807 s||Button||32.416 s||Button||38.947 s|
|Hamilton||24.807 s||Webber||32.464 s||Vettel||39.032 s|
What are your predictions for the race?
Photo: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes