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Malaysia Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole at Sepang

02 October 2017
Malaysia Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole at Sepang

Prime Minister Najib Razak on Sunday said Formula One could return to Malaysia and pledged the Sepang circuit will not become a "white elephant". The top two drivers this season will be hoping to have much better days in 2017 than what they had in Malaysia a year ago. The fireworks started early in Singapore with a controversial wreck at the start.

Vettel was only fifth quickest in the morning, four-tenths slower than Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

"I am not anxious, I am excited about making my debut in Sepang this weekend", Gasly said.

"Straight away the vehicle felt good and I saw Lewis was struggling a bit with traction. of course he has more to lose than me in the championship so I went for it in turn one", Verstappen said of his overtake on lap four. Rosberg recovered to finish third and took the drivers' title away from Hamilton come the end of the year. He will look to score his eighth win of the season and fourth in a row in 2017.

Fernando Alonso believes Lewis Hamilton is now the firm favourite for the 2017 F1 title with Sebastian Vettel left in a "risky situation".

According to Sepang International Circuit CEO Datuk Razlan Razali, the country wouldn't want to host Formula 1 after this, even if it was offered for free.

"Somehow we managed to turn it around and it is a real surprise to be up here with these guys", added Hamilton, who secured his ninth pole of the season at the last-ever running of the race.

"It certainly didn't help that Lewis scored a lot of points, but that's the way it goes".

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled with grip and went off track into the gravel within moments of each other.

Vettel and Hamilton were fifth and sixth respectively.

On the other hand, if Sebastien Vettel is able to score the win, it would erase the sour taste of what happened to Ferrari in Singapore. There is a fundamental issue in the auto that we need to find out.

The four-times champion's qualifying setback left the way clear for Hamilton to take the 70th pole position of his career which makes the 32-year-old, who surpassed Michael Schumacher's record haul of pole positions with his 69th at Monza, the first driver to reach the landmark. We have been able to some extent put Malaysia on the map of the world by hosting the F1 race.

The red flag for Romain Grosjean's accident in second practice means the team's data gathering over Friday long runs was cut short.

Finally, it is time to pick this week's underdog with the best chance at winning.

"With races two and three back-to-back and without the possibility to top up, we filled the cars for both races before the start of race two".

The Ferrari driver paid a heavy price for his defensive maneuver at the start of the Singapore Grand prix two weeks ago.