Hamilton Manages Monsoon Conditions To Take Malaysian Pole
Mercedes
Posted By:   |  29 Mar 2014   |  12:51 pm GMT  |  352 comments

Lewis Hamilton maintained his clean sweep of 2014 pole positions by claiming the top spot in Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying, heading Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg at a treacherously wet Sepang circuit.

The second pole of the year for Hamilton is 33rd of the Briton’s career, equalling Jim Clark’s British record and the tally of four-time World Champion Alain Prost.

“The lap was far from being my optimum,” said Hamilton, who trailed Rosberg when they were using intermediate tyres early in the session, but had the edge on full wets. “I should have been able to eke out a little more time but thankfully it wasn’t needed. Conditions were incredibly difficult and it would have been so easy to get it wrong today. At times towards the end it was almost impossible to see if anyone was behind me.

“But I’m really happy with the result today. I would love to be able to dedicate a great result to the families of those who lost their lives (on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370). If I could win it and dedicate it to them, that would be great.”

With Mercedes having dominated the weekend so far, putting themselves a second ahead of the field in this morning’s dry final Free Practice session, the heavens opened in typical Malaysian fashion thirty minutes prior to the green light. With the storms relenting and the Safety Car struggling around on its sighting laps the session was held back by fifty minutes to allow the standing water to disperse.

By the final phase of the session, and following a number of tyre changes between the intermediate and full-wet tyre, it was the blue-marked full-wet in use for the final twelve minutes.

Hamilton and Rosberg’s in house battle was split first by Fernando Alonso and then by Vettel as the rain increased. And with five minutes remaining the Red Bull pair, with Daniel Ricciardo in fifth place, pitted for new tyres and the chance for two fast laps to snatch pole from Hamilton. Whilst the Mercedes duo stayed out a lap longer, giving themselves only one lap to try and capture the front-row.

Vettel and Ricciardo were unable to improve on their first laps and when Vettel held back to give himself a gap ahead, Rosberg took the opportunity to dive up the inside of his compatriot, causing Vettel to slow and consequently cross the line after the chequered flag, session over for him.

With Hamilton’s only threat coming from his team-mate, he made a mistake at turn four and had to wait to see how Rosberg would fair on his final lap. The German was able to improve, taking third place away from Alonso but unable to make it to the front-row. Hamilton clinched pole by 0.05s to Vettel, with Rosberg a further 0.6s adrift.

Alonso completed the second row after a troublesome Q2 that saw the Spaniard collide with Danii Kvyat, breaking the front-left suspension of the F14 T and caused the second red flag of the day. The halted session proved fortunate for Alonso as his team was able to quickly attach some new wish bones and send their driver out for the remainder of the session.

They will therefore be pleased to start so high up the grid, beating Ricciardo who shares the third row with Kimi Raikkonen.

“I didn’t see him coming, obviously, on the out-lap, it was a little bit aggressive with this visibility but we were lucky enough to put the car together quickly,” said Alonso.

“The mechanics did a fantastic job, but the car was not totally repaired. The steering on the right was so light and on the left so heavy that it was very strange to drive, but enough to complete qualifying.”

Nico Hulkenberg continued his stellar return to Force India, taking seventh place as his team-mate, Sergio Perez, could only manage fourteenth. Hulkenberg will start alongside Kevin Magnussen, the Dane also beating his team-mate in qualifying for the second time this year.

Jenson Button completed the top ten, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Toro Rosso once again enjoying a wet qualifying session to take ninth place.

Marcus Ericsson was the cause of the first red flag, losing the rear end of his Caterham on the exit of turn three, skidding across the track, in to the barrier and being narrowly avoided by the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez.

Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang, Qualifying

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m59.431s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m59.486s +0.055s
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m00.050s +0.619s
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m00.175s +0.744s
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 2m00.541s +1.110s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m01.218s +1.787s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 2m01.712s +2.281s
8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 2m02.213s +2.782s
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 2m03.078s +3.647s
10. Jenson Button McLaren 2m04.053s +4.622s
11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 2m02.351s +3.310s
12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 2m02.369s +3.328s
13. Felipe Massa Williams 2m02.460s +3.419s
14. Sergio Perez Force India 2m02.511s +3.470s
15. Valtteri Bottas Williams 2m02.756s +3.715s
16. Romain Grosjean Lotus 2m02.885s +3.844s
17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 2m02.074s +4.891s
18. Adrian Sutil Sauber 2m02.131s +4.948s
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia 2m02.702s +5.519s
20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 2m03.595s +6.412s
21. Max Chilton Marussia 2m04.388s +7.205s
22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 2m04.407s +7.224s

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1

@Veena @Pranav and more people. Kimi only used the full wet compound in Q3. He actually was one of the few drivers that had two new sets of wets, as he only used one set in Q2. He utilized both sets on Q3. You are getting confused with Q2, when both Kimi and Alonso went out on intermediates, and had to pit for full wets, as it was a mistake. That was wen Alonso collided with Kvyat.

2

Why wasn’t Rosberg given a penalty for obstructing Vettel at the last corner in Q3?

3

Vettel was going slow. If Rosberg had waited for him, he would’ve missed out on a final lap. Then I suppose Vettel would’ve been in line for a penalty.

4

But Vettel was going slow because Ricciardo was going slow because Alonso, or Kimi, was going slow. They were all preparing for their final run and Rosberg cut in line. I hate it when people do that.

5

Interesting that a red flag went out for the Alonso incident, did anyone notice if the flag had a black stallion on it?

6

Think thats only ifJames Garner is driving. ?.

7

i also noticed hamilton had a message for those people making prejudiced comments about him, ‘still i rise’.

here is the full message

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may tread me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

8

It’s 2014, and Lewis still has to deal with these issues.

Hopefully people will STOP wasting so much energy some day.

9

people will be people nor matter what year we’re in. hopefully they can get some education about such behaviour.

10

Well if they weren’t making prejudiced comments about him before they might start now 😉

“That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?”

What??? Sounds like a good way to have a budget vasectomy to me.

Amazing – the auto-correct dictionary people forgot moustache but remembered vasectomy – again, where were your priorities!!!

11

that’s funny! i think that poem was written by a woman.

12

i suspected so random 79, supported by the smilie.

13

No fear aveli, I wasn’t having a crack at you 🙂

14

sorry but am not responsible for making sense out of it. it was a poem written by a woman about her adversaries, hamilton wrote the title of that poem on the back of his helmet and i simply posted the poem.

15

It might have been written by a woman, but that doesn’t make it make any more sense 🙂

16

Did Hamilton really write that?

17

no hamilton didn’t write that but that is the message he sends out to all those who make false statements about him ie he’s not as intelligent as his teammate, he doesn’t manage his tyres and fuel as well as his teammates, etc. unfortunately for them, the fia are now able to provide that information and i saw that hamilton saved his fuel and tyres better than both rosberg and button. his engineer said hamiltons tyres were in a better state than rosberg’s in the first stint.

as far as hamilton is concerned, they can say all they want yet he still rises.

18

Lots of talk about Nico being quicker than Lewis on the inters and it being nip and tuck between them, made me wonder if I had been watching a different race weekend than everyone else. Nico was quicker in practice 2 by 0.142 secs and practice 3 by 0.232 secs, but Lewis was quicker in practice 1 by 0.337. In qualifying Nico went quicker in q1 by a rather un whopping 0.019 secs before being soundly beaten by 0.402 in q2 and 0.607 in q3. I can’t help thinking that if it was the other way around the comments would be all about Nico destroying Lewis, and not about how evenly matched the 2 drivers are, It seems a lot of people have a real problem recognising Hamilton’s achievements.

19

don’t forget rosberg was schumacher’s(best wishes) teammate for 3 years. and those who think about age, there is no handicap in f1. those who are too old stay out of it. schumacher wasn’t too old, he was as good as he had ever been.

20

I don’t not recognise Hamilton’s achievements, but I think he’s overrated and Rosberg is not far off him, Rosberg is a average driver at best.

21

Look at the numbers again. Great race from Lewis today, pole win, fastest lap, remind you of anyone. ?

22

another myth blown apart by paul hembery today. he said people claim hamilton doesn’t know how to look after his tyres but there is not much difference between hamilton’s and rosberg’s tyre management.

how could the best f1 driver ever to have stepped foot in the sport not be able to manage his tyres over the race distance. commentators, please stop writing the script and describe what you see accurately.

incidentally, i saw an odd video on you tube of jackie stewart overtaking two car in the wet. it was ridiculously speeded up to look good. whoever posted it is one of those oldies who find it hard to accept that those cars in those days weren’t as fast as current cars nor could they pull as much g in them. non of those drivers could ever pull an overtaking move as hamilton did in monza on raikkonen back in 2008. he was so far back before the corner, raikkonen braked so late that he lock up all four wheels while hamilton only locked up the right front momentarily and corrected for the oversteer while flashing by raikkonen! fenominal !

23

Tired of ppl making up whos faster in a team. f1 is more n more diverted into two steams, one lap pace n race pace. If lewis hamilton is faster overall then why he didnt convert as much wins on poles (33 poles n hw many time he won from pole?)

So race pace wise LH n NR are pretty evenly matched barring external factors.

Same thing might apply to kimi n alonso, vet n ric

24

really? do you still think they are evenly matched? were they evenly matched last season?

25

On Alonso / Kimi – Don’t be too quick to praise Alonso for his quali performance siting his self professed ”damaged car’ as evidence for his continued dominance over Kimi. This is the same Alonso know for a propensity for gaining a psychological advantage over his team mates. Is it possible his car was fully repaired and he is taking the opportunity to put the boot in on Kimi, who looked quicker all weekend in the dry? Kimi has never thrived in the wet. Throughout last season and seasons before Alonso has performed better in PF than quali, is there any evidence to support the claim that of the ‘difference of fuel loads with other side if the garage’? While I think Alonso will edge the battle over the course of the season I think it will be close, I think Alonso know this and will take ever opportunity to gain any possible edge over Kimi.

26

It is confirmed that Alonso had a damaged car. Kimi was faster, but he was on a different program. Let’s see where they finish the race and whether they finish the year. I really like Kimi more, but I am no blind to see that Alonso is better.

27

slightly off topic but, 2nd grand prix of the year, and hardly a mention of tyres!

The drivers are racing again.

Thank you F1

28

Drivers were criticizing wet tires yesterday that they are not giving any grip and even if they do, it is very inconsistent.

29

Who would have thought? 😉

Credit where it’s due, especially after all the bagging – good job Pirelli 🙂

30

Can anybody explain to me whether and how can Renault and Ferrari catch up with Mercedes in terms of engines?

Is there a way for Ferrari to reduce the 50-75 hp deficit and make the engine lighter? Can Renault get on par with Merc and therefore allow Red Bull to dominate again?

What is possible and what these teams are going to be doing?

31

I hear that Red Bull are protesting the results of qualifying. They are claiming that their timing systems show Sebastian Vettel in fact crossed the line before the end of the session.

32

Were they using a Gill’s timer?

33

It’s always more interesting in the rain.

Let’s hope for the rain on Sunday.

34

Hope RBR doesn’t sort out their issues anytime soon. Would love to see Vettel hustle an imperfect car for most of the season.

35

fantastic picture up top of the best f1 driver to have stepped foot in the sport sporting his new stylish helmet and matching gloves which complement his race suit and car livery perfectly.

what a crazy qualifying session, button went for it and was unfortunate as more water fell onto the track. I hoped button was on pole today to add spice to the racing tomorrow. hopefully we’ll enjoy an exciting race.

36

Well, what did we really learn?

Mercedes is clearly ahead, but what trend?

It seems their pace advantage is smaller.

There is no arguing that they have pace they hold back during free practice, (even if they have the top times in free practice); but are they still holding back advantage in the bag, to manage the spectacle?

Lewis, good; surprised people haven’t followed the past five years very closely.

I do find it extraordinary that Alonso is a second faster than Kimi; I’ll keep my eye on that.

Anyone surprised by Vettel’s extraordinary capability, have not been interpreting the past five years very well, nor the fact that Red Bull are on the precipice of challenging the Mercedes advantage. The machinery, besides power, is AT LEAST as good as the Mercedes, slightly better tire management, which shall be a factor tomorrow, if dry.

The Hulk continues to dazzle, and I echo one comment about bemoaning his lack of a top drive; let’s hope for it by next year, at the latest.

I’d like to have my money on the red 7, but I think the blue 1 is going to be the challenger for the silver twins.

37

Amazing job by the Ferrari pit crew, at least to a layman like me. Exactly how long did they take to repair Alonso’s suspension? 7-8 minutes I guess?

To me, this was the outstanding moment in the qualifying.

38

If we had a race Kit I bet you $5 I could change it in under 7 days 😉

Very good job by Ferrari 🙂

39

bring Hulkenberg in Mclaren next year alongside the young dane…the hulk is being wasted!

40

button does a better job.

41

Hulkenberg would smash Magnusson.

43

Will Magnusson be able to change his damaged diffuser in parc femme conditions before the race?

44

Anyone think Alonso deserved a penalty for turning in on Kvyat?

45

yes , but being ferrari he will get away with it

47

Just a comment on the Alonso-Kimi comparison in free practice, as I see people confusing things here. Alonso was running with more fuel than Kimi in all Fps. Their program was different for this race. Alonso was more focused on the race, as there are difficulties with tyre management. Alonso was asked if he had some kind of problems in free practice, and denied it, he explained the difference on fuel loads with the other side of the garage.

However, Kimi did very good laps in practice on soft tyres, while Alonso’s were far from perfect, as Hamilton’s.

48

WOW Vettel

Pure class, wonderful drive. It will be interesting if as I assume by the speed trap they are running with a bit of wet setup.

WOW Hulkenberg

For me this guy is already one of the best 4 or 5 drivers on the paddock.

WOW Alonso

Having put a second on Kimi without convergence of the set up settings on the front, due to the collision with Kvyat, is something only he can do. Pure talent.

These three performances were a level above the rest.

49

Agree, specialy on the Hulk matter. I don’t know why is he still on a midfield team. Lack of strong sponsor? Its wasting his talent there.

50

Hulkenberg getting the force india up amoung the big boys is fantadtic.

51

I’ll sign that!

52

you are right, Alonso and Vettel did got qualy in those conditions and with their technical issues. That’s why they are champions.

53

I clearly don’t understand why people are thinking RB10 is slow car.they might hav less straight line speed as it has been all these years. They hav made big step forward from bahrain to aus and know in malaysia and the mercedes engine advantage counts for nothing when it rains .

54

The weather flattered them today though; in the dry they are losing almost a second on the straights so when the others are using DRS to overtake Seb and Ricciardo, they will struggle to do anything.

The main issue they have is reliability..they must finish the race tomorrow and get some points on the board.

55

Well, if that’s the case. The engine advantage will play itself out in a very dry Bahrain. I suspect it won’t be pretty for Redbull.

56

Good effort by Alonso with a “broken car”, I suspect that FP was not representative, I beat Alonso was working on the race and Kimi in other stuff, and the FP practice comparison was useless.

57

What is most interesting is that the car was really broken. I watched on RTL and the commentator (former driver) said Alonso would be missing Q3 100 percent. So the damage was quite serious. Respect to his talent.

58

The talent is with the mechanics that repaired the car and allowed Alonso to get out for Q3.

59

His talent did not fix his car so that he could race again. I am shocked that mechanics were able to do it, good job!

60

Rain is where great drivers set themselves apart from very good drivers.

Looking team by team, Hamilton got 6 tenths from Rosberg, and Vettel and Alonso a full second from Riccardo and Raikkonen.

When people say Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso are a step above the rest (Rosberg, Raikkonen, etc.) thats the reason

Another interesting comparisons in Force India and McLaren: Hulkenberg got 8 tenths from Perez although at different times so not really comparable, and Magnussen TWO full seconds of Button, although again they were in different tyres, so not really comparable.(although still it say a lot about both of them)

61

Button got desperate and ‘gambled’ on inters instead of full wets. I’m sure he’ll be ‘gambling’ with his strategy during the race.

62

I agree somewhat with you for the teammates on the same tire, but you can’t compare when they are on two different compounds-Button was up a couple tenths on MAG at the end of Q2, both on inters, so what does that say? Probably says not enough data!

63

i thought that qualifying took place in abnormal conditions, in the wet?

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