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F1 Malaysian GP: Qualifying round up

Saturday, 23 March 2013 - 3:24pm IST | Agency: dna

Vettel made it to his 38th career pole in the rain shower hit Malaysian GP Qualifying followed by two Ferrari's of Massa & Alonso. Carrying where it left in Australia, rain showers added drama to the session even here. Below is the session wise round up of what went in the Malaysian GP Qualifying.


Q1 saw only the lower order team getting out on track in the first half of the session. Movements were almost none in teams like Redbull and Ferrari till the timer reached the half way mark. Q1 was a complete dry session so the timing of cars was almost similar to the morning Free Practice-3 session. Most drivers were out on the Medium tyres to save the hard ones for later. Sutil went fastest with even the Redbull of Vettel and Webber not able to match him. Mclarens were playing a silent game with no eyes on them. But apart from the rookies, every other car including Force India cars made enough time to go into Q2. Out go Verge, Bottas, Bianchi, Pic, Chilton and van der Garde.


Q2 started off with Force India car of Di Resta. It was a difficult way ahead for all as just 1.6s covered the top 17 cars. Sutil again started with a fast time in a session that started dry. Initially everyone was out on Medium tyres as previous session. But soon both Mercedes made it to the top back to back. This was the time when it started raining on track. Most drivers were caught with Medium tyres on a rainy track which affected their times to a big extent. Even top cars found it hard to adopt to the instant change of the track conditions. Out go Grosjean, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Gutierrez, Di Resta and Maldonado. It was disappointing to see only one of the Force India car able to make it to Q3. Also strong effort by both Mclarens to be able to qualify for Q3.


Wet Q3 started with a line of cars waiting in pit lane to hit the track. DRS was disabled in this session. Sutil again started first but wet conditions made his time to drop considerably. Hamilton set a good time for the pole which seemed difficult to beat. But the conditions started to improve a lot in the second half which mean the last man over the line will have all the advantage. Even the rain showers stopped. As the time was limited, none of the drivers tried to get a Slick tyre just to shake things up. Vettel went in and got another set of same tyres. Raikkonen  was told that he has fuel for just one timed lap but he was just able to go 7th fastest. Times started to come down a lot with the conditions becoming driver friendly. Vettel and Webber posted great times and it looked like it will again be a Redbull lock down on the front grid. But Alonso came fast and dissected the Redbulls. His mate team Massa drove faster and was able to beat his team mate (which is rare) to come second. Hamilton clocked a good lap but was just able to out do Webber to take 4th spot in the grid.Mclarens had a bad sessions with finishing in lower half. While Force India's Sutil finished 9th.

The race starts tomorrow at 1.30pm IST. It promises to be one filled of ups and downs due to the weather conditions.