Lewis Hamilton takes Malaysia pole, Sebastian Vettel to start last
Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton takes Malaysia pole, Sebastian Vettel to start last

30/09/2017

Sebastian Vettel's quest for a fifth world championship took a monumental nosedive as title-rival Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth straight pole position in Malaysia, edging Kimi Raikkonen by 0.046s.

A Ferrari front row lockout was looking like a good bet before qualifying but it didn't take long for Vettel to encounter trouble. The German suffered a suspected turbo failure during his first flying lap and immediately returned to the pits, allowing Ferrari mechanics to frantically swarm his car. The Scuderia had opted to change the engine on Vettel's car after discovering an electrical issue in FP3 but decided not to replace the turbo component as it would have resulted in an automatic ten-place grid penalty. Despite the work, the German was unable to re-join the session and will start the race from the rear of the field.

Toto Wolff admitted to some "fundamental issues" with his Mercedes cars after a dismal Friday but once again the team was able to turn it around ahead of qualifying. Hamilton's time of 1:30.076 good enough to earn the Brit a 70th career pole position.

Like Mercedes, Red Bull also improved its pace from the opening two practice sessions to lock out the second row of the grid. On his 20th birthday, Max Verstappen edged teammate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.054s and was able to get within half a second of Hamilton's benchmark time. The Bulls showed strong form in FP1's wet conditions and could certainly contend for victory should rain intervene during the race.

Valtteri Bottas wasn't quite on his teammate's pace and qualified fifth in the second Mercedes ahead of Esteban Ocon's Force India and Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren. Both Ocon and Vandoorne managed to out-qualify their more experienced teammates with Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso sharing the fifth row of the grid.

The Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll will start 11th and 13th respectively, splitting them was Jolyon Palmer's Renault. It was also a difficult session for Toro Rosso with Carlos Sainz -- who finished fourth last time out in Singapore -- only able to qualify 14th on the grid. Pierre Gasly impressed in his debut qualifying session, finishing just 0.15s down on his teammate.

Joining Vettel in the Q1 drop zone was the Haas pair of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen who finished 16th and 17th respectively, ahead of Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.

Vettel's failure is the second gift in two weeks to be thrown in the direction of Mercedes after Hamilton had capitalised on a dramatic opening-lap accident between the Ferraris and Verstappen to win the Singapore Grand Prix and extend his championship lead to 28 points.

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22/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
12:30 | Karolina Pliskova v Angelique Kerber - WTA Dubai
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21:05 | Atalanta - Borussia Dortmund
21:05 | Athletic Bilbao - Spartak Moskva
21:05 | Salzburg - Real Sociedad
21:05 | Milan - Ludogorets
21:05 | Arsenal - Ostersunds FK
21:05 | Sporting Braga - Olympique Marseille
22:30 | Pablo Andujar v Dominic Thiem - ATP 500 - Rio Open
23/02/2018
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18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
24/02/2018
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13:30 | Leicester City - Stoke City
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15:30 | Bayern Munich - Hertha BSC
16:00 | Liverpool - West Ham United
16:15 | Real Madrid - Alaves
17:00 | Toulouse - Monaco
18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
18:30 | Watford - Everton
20:45 | Inter Milan - Benevento
20:45 | Barcelona - Girona
25/02/2018
08:00 | 2018 Winter Olympics
12:00 | Villarreal - Getafe
13:00 | ATP 250 - Marseille
14:00 | WTA - Dubai
15:00 | Bordeaux - Nice
15:00 | Sassuolo - Lazio
15:05 | Manchester United - Chelsea
15:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Schalke 04
17:00 | Olympique Lyon - Saint-Etienne
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18:00 | ATP 500 - Rio Open
18:30 | Valencia - Real Sociedad
20:45 | Sevilla - Atletico Madrid
20:45 | Roma - Milan
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DERBY OF THE WEEK
Manchester United - Chelsea
Derby of the week
15:05
25/02/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.00    
   W 3.80
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
02-15-2018 07:00 and are subject to change
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