Amidst heavily overcast skies and in the back drop of lightning strikes at the Sepang circuit, Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix clocking 1:49.824. Sebastian Vettel finished a close second trailing Hamilton by 0.077 seconds. While Nico Rosberg picked up P3, the two Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniel Kvyat brought up the top five.
Looking to repeat his qualifying effort from last year when he took pole here with 1m 59.431s, Lewis Hamilton looked relentless while finishing Q1 on top, only marginally ahead of Nico Rosberg.
A brief ran delay
The rain came down at the start of Q2 as the drivers queued up for a “hot lap”. As the crowd scrambled for cover, the rain overpowered the track. The drivers meanwhile, put in their Q2 laps and settled in the comfort of their garages. Raikkonen, Maldonado, Hulkenberg, Perez and Sainz were eliminated in Q2.
With the safety car having completed a couple of reconnaissance laps and the rain abating, Q3 got underway with several cars running on intermediate tyres throwing plenty of spray around. Hamilton set the pace again in Q3 clocking 1:49.834 and had Rosberg and Vettel in hot pursuit with less than five minutes on the clock. With time winding down, Sebastain Vettel powered ahead of Rosberg in the dying seconds of Q3 to claim P2. Rosberg had to settle for P3, 0.465 behind Hamilton.
Fresh from his win in Australia a couple of weeks ago and with pole position now in the bag, Hamilton will look to press home the momentum and advantage come race-day tomorrow. He will however, be pushed to the limit by Vettel, who almost stole P1 from Hamilton right at the end of Q3. In doing so, Vettel gave Ferrari their first ever front grid start since 2013 at Sepang.