Lewis Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes team have yet again demonstrated that they are the team to beat with Lewis Hamilton taking pole position for tomorrow’s race at Sepang in Malaysia. His teammate Jenson Button who grabbed victory at last week’s Australian GP has grabbed the second place on the starting grid. Michael Schumacher and the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team were very impressive in qualifying with Schumacher taking third place on the grid. Mark Webber set the fourth fastest time in the Red Bull Racing Renault car while Kimi Raikonnen continues to impress in his comeback year after a two year hiatus by setting the sixth fastest time in qualifying in his Lotus Renault car while the defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel could only manage to be sixth fastest. However, Raikonnen is all set to drop five places on the grid due to the application of the penalty for changing the gearbox. Raikonnen’s teammate Romain Grosjean who went third fastest in qualifying in Australia could only manage to set the seventh fastest time while Schumacher’s teammate Nico Rosberg could only go eighth fastest. Ferrari’s woes continued with Fernando Alonso being good enough only for ninth place on the grid while the tenth place went to Sergio Perez of Sauber- Ferrari. Pastor Maldonado showed impressive speed to finish in eleventh place in the resurgent Williams car while his teammate Bruno Senna set the thirteenth fastest time. Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari could manage only 12th on the grid despite his having been given a new chassis.
The Sahara Force India F1 team did not have a great day in qualifying with Paul Di Resta setting the 14th fastest time while his teammate Nico Hulkenberg could only set the 16th fastest time. Fifteenth on the grid was taken by Daniel Ricciardo in the STR-Ferrari. In what must be a huge relief the HRT cars of Pedro De La Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan finished inside the 107% time of the pole setting time and therefore will start the race tomorrow from the 23rd and 24th positions on the starting grid.