We mentioned in yesterdays qualifying round-up how the humid climate might cause trouble for the teams and their new 2014 cars. Today, that is exactly what happened… A downpour of monsoon proportions soon made conditions suitable for small boats, let along full wet tyres. Even the safety car had a bit of a moment whilst on duty! Hamilton takes Malaysia F1 Pole
The rain has jumbled the pecking order and favoured teams with strong aerodynamic packages such as Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton may have taken pole position, but world champion Sebastian Vettel was just 0.055 seconds slower. Hamilton logs his 33rd pole equalling that of the legendary Jim Clark. Nico Rosberg managed to qualify third in conditions that yielded very poor visibility. Alonso in his Ferrari F14 T showed that the red car has gained some of its lost competitiveness from the season opener in Australia by putting it on the fourth grid slot for the race. The second of the Red Bull pair, Ricciardo, was 5th fastest heading Kimi Raikkonen in 6th. It was a good qualification for Hulkenberg as his Force India will start 7th. A true star of the first race, Magnussen, only managed 8th in his McLaren with team mate Button taking a gamble on intermediate tyres that didn’t pay off. He starts 10th.
Williams do not appear to have quite as much downforce on their new Martini liveried car as competitors and so start tomorrows race in the second half of the pack. Lotus again struggled with their car, no doubt due to their lack of testing.