Hamilton surprised himself with Malaysia pole lap

Malaysia: Lewis Hamilton 'sad' that Formula One is losing its 'toughest' race

Hamilton, who had started on pole position, finished second for Mercedes with his Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel limiting the damage by racing from last place on the grid to fourth.

Vettel left the Ferrari garage during the first stage of qualifying but was unable to set a time and complained over team radio that his turbo was not working.

"I like to watch F1 because I like the environment", said the Gemas born, who hopes Hamilton would win his fourth world championship crown.

Hamilton added: "I went into the last race thinking I would lose a lot of points to Sebastian, so to come out the other way around it was a real surprise". I expect a very hard day, but like we saw in Singapore, we were struggling but the cooler and mixed conditions helped us a lot and the race pace was really good. "For sure it's not ideal, not what you want especially on a day where you feel you've got it in you, got it in the vehicle".

Vettel clocked a new lap record to go quickest in second practice with his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen second.

"We have been on the receiving end of those bad moments before, and we know that they can happen as easily to us as anybody else". "Tomorrow is a long race and it will be tough for tires. I think the end of the second stint was looking a little bit better but underlying the vehicle was still having some big problems in some corners, I think Max was just managing the pace.so I don't think we had the pace". It happened, there's not much you can do, and therefore not much point in trying to look at it again and again. Two weeks ago, he was taken out on Turn 1 by Vettel and had to retire.




Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton was handed a lucky break in Singapore but the Mercedes driver can take little more than the heat and humidity for granted in Malaysia this weekend. "It's a nice circuit but the only thing you see is the airport, the hotel next to the airport and the circuit, so you can choose from that what you're going to miss", Raikkonen said.

With less than 10 minutes before qualifying, Ferrari's mechanics hurriedly wheeled Raikkonen's vehicle back to the garage. We went back to one auto trying one, the other vehicle trying the other.

Valtteri Bottas, unable to overcome Mercedes problems in the way his team-mate did, will start a disappointed fifth. "I don't know whether he feels pressure".

"I apologise unreservedly for the results of Race 3", said Asian Autosport Action chairman Peter Thompson.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was sitting beside him during the press conference, sarcastically suggested to Raikkonen that he should "come back on holiday" to visit the airport.

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