Everyone was anticipating the rain that hit the Sepang circuit before qualifying began, but no one thought it would last quite as long as it did. The sessions were delayed by almost an hour whilst the downpour continued, but eventually it was cleared up enough for the running to begin.
The first session saw both Pastor Maldonado and Adrian Sutil knocked out, along with the usual suspects. Marcus Ericsson sealed his last place with a crash that ended the session with 35 seconds to go.
Romain Grosjean managed to get into Q2 for Lotus, but could go no higher than 16th. Both Williams drivers were out in the second session, whilst Jean-Éric Vergne knocked his own teammate out of the top ten. The Toro Rosso driver eventually lined up ninth.
In that final session, the rain started to come down again, making full wet tyres the optimum choice. Jenson Button remained on intermediates, so only qualified tenth. At the front, Lewis Hamilton set the benchmark and couldn’t improve on his own time. Sebastian Vettel came within a whisker of pole but had to settle for second. Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso will line up on the second row, with Ricciardo and Räikkönen behind them.
Filed under F1Minute
References Adrian Sutil, Fernando Alonso, Jean-Éric Vergne, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton
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