Vettel wins pole in Sepang
Sepang (AFP): Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel snatched pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix Saturday in the dying seconds of a dramatic...
Sepang (AFP): Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel snatched pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix Saturday in the dying seconds of a dramatic qualifying session which was thrown into chaos by rain. In his final run on a drying track, Vettel stormed across the line in a time of 1min 49.674sec, pipping Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa (1:50.587) and Fernando Alonso (1:50.727) with Mercedes pilot Lewis Hamilton fourth. Red Bull's Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg of Mercedes will start Sunday's race from fifth and sixth. Kimi Raikkonen, last week's winner in Australia, timed seventh but was hit with a three-place grid penalty for impeding Rosberg. McLaren's Jenson Button will occupy the fourth row alongside Force India's Adrian Sutil, with McLaren's new recruit Sergio Perez- second for Sauber in last year's rain-interrupted race - starting ninth and Kimi 10th. "It turned into an interesting qualifying session," said Vettel. "It was quite tricky because some parts of the track were still wet and others were dry, but still all in all a very good session for us. "We managed to save some tyres, which could be crucial on Saturday." alaysia's ever-present tropical showers had disrupted Friday practice, and clouds were again looming ominously as qualifying got under way.A With track temperatures at a sizzling 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit), Sutil set the pace in Q1 with the Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber trailing in 15th and ninth respectively. Rosberg was leading Q2 when the rain set in, effectively bringing the session to an early halt as the cars returned to the pits -- but not before Paul di Resta had twice lost control of his Force India.A With the cloudburst quickly easing, the cars switched to intermediate wet-dry tyres for the final qualifying shoot-out and officials disabled the DRS overtaking system in the slippery conditions. Kimi gets penalty Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from tenth place after Race Stewards handed the Finn a three grid-place penalty.Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg were summoned to the stewards office after suggestions the Australian Grand Prix winner impeded the German in the dying stages of the final segment of qualifying. It's understood Raikkonen was on a warm up lap, having just exited the pits, while Rosberg was on a flying lap.A Having viewed video evidence and spoken to both drivers, the stewards adjudged Raikkonen of impeding Rosberg between Turns 12 and 15, a breach of Article 31.7 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.
26 Jan 2020 6:10 AM GMT