2016 Malaysian Grand Prix Qualifying Review

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But heading into Qualifying, it would seem that Mercedes are looking like the teams to beat heading into the session that look set to gain Pole Position ahead of the race on Sunday. But Ferrari, McLaren, Ferrari, Toro Rosso or Force India may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets in Q1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets in Q1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

In Q1, we saw Lewis Hamilton topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.34.444, Nico Rosberg was second, Kimi Raikkonen was third, Sebastian Vettel was fourth, Nico Hulkenberg was fifth, Sergio Perez was sixth, Daniel Ricciardo was seventh, Valtteri Bottas was eighth, Felipe Massa was ninth and Jenson Button rounded off the top ten finshers.

At the end of Q1 we lose Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr, Jolyon Palmer, Esteban Ocon, Pascal Wehrlein and Fernando Alonso.

In Q2, we saw Hamilton topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.33.046, Rosberg was second, Verstappen was third, Ricciardo was fourth, Raikkonen was fifth, Vettel was sixth, Massa was seventh, Button was eighth, Hulkenberg was ninth and Perez rounded off the top ten finshers.

At the end of Q2 we lose Valtteri Bottas, Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez, Kevin Magnussen, Danill Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Lewis Hamilton secures Pole Position for the Malaysian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second place and Max Verstappen in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton secures Pole Position for the Malaysian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second place and Max Verstappen in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

At the end of Q3, it was Hamilton who secured Pole Position for the Malaysian GP with a lap time of 1.32.850. This was the fastest lap ever set around the Sepang circuit and congratulations to Lewis this brilliant achievement.

Rosberg qualified in second place 0.414 seconds behind Hamilton, Verstappen is in third 0.570 seconds behind Hamilton, Ricciardo is fourth 0.617 seconds behind Hamilton and Vettel is fifth 0.734 seconds behind Hamilton.

Raikkonen is sixth 0.782 seconds behind Hamilton,  Perez in seventh 1.469 seconds behind Hamilton, Hulkenberg is eighth 1.639 seconds behind Hamilton, Button is ninth 1.668 seconds behind Hamilton and Massa rounds off the top ten finishers.

It would seem that Mercedes genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend despite their form in Qualifying. Both of the Mercedes drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this and have been consistent and fast throughout every session so far this weekend; even if Hamilton has a challenge on his hands to get a result this weekend.

You cannot discount Ricciardo, Verstappen or Raikkonen even to be challenging also for the race win and could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes (and also Ferrari in Mercedes’ case) that could see gaining some points on their rivals to kick start their Constructors Championship.

Hulkenberg, Perez, and Button could also have a decent race and pick up some much needed points for their respective teams. Will it rain? I do not know. Who will win the Grand Prix on Sunday? I really don’t know.

But let’s see what happens on the Sepang circuit on race day on Sunday…

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