Daily Archives: March 24, 2012

Hamilton leads McLaren lockout in Malaysia qualifying

Lewis Hamilton ensured a 100% record so far in 2012, taking pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Teammate Jenson Button was a tenth behind in 2nd, while everyone back to 8th was separated by 0.4 seconds.

Michael Schumacher went 3rd, while Sebastian Vettel has chosen a different strategy for tomorrow’s race. Here is what happened:

Q1

Jean-Eric Vergne was knocked out of Q1

Jean-Eric Vergne was knocked out of Q1

The two Mercedes drivers set the early pace with mid-1:37  times. They were soon split by Jenson Button, with Lewis Hamilton 4th.

Felipe Massa’s initial pace was very poor, leaving him only 18th. While he stayed out on the options, his teammate decided to use primes for Q1. Massa eventually improved to move out of the drop zone.

Mark Webber soon smashed the best time, setting a 1:37.1.

Within the last few minutes, the midfield began to move past Massa again, but not by enough. Jean-Eric Vergne aborted several laps, and failed to progress to Q2.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:39.077

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:39.306

20) Vitaly Petrov – 1:39.567

21) Timo Glock – 1:49.903

22) Charles Pic – 1:41.250

23) Pedro de la Rosa – 1:42.914

24) Narain Karthikeyan – 1:43.655

Q2

Massa once again failed to progress to Q2

Massa once again failed to progress to Q2

Sergio Perez was the first car out of the pits for the start of Q2. He set his benchmark time of 1:39.043.

Pastor Maldonado went massively wide at Turn 11, almost hitting the barriers. Kimi Raikkonen went on top with an impressive 1:37.715.

Teammate Romain Grosjean made a mistake on his lap, but still went 4th, setting a sector best as well.

Felipe Massa went 9th, but Fernando Alonso quickly beat that, going 6th. Maladonado and Perez jumped into the top 10, pushing Massa out of Q2. The Mercedes drivers left it until their final laps to move back into the top 10, going 3rd and 4th.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Pastor Maldonado – 1:37.589

12) Felipe Massa – 1:37.731

13) Bruno Senna – 1:37.841

14) Paul di Resta – 1:37.877

15) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:37.883

16) Nico Hulkenberg – 1:37.890

17) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:38.069

Q3

Schumacher appeared in the top 3, alongside the two McLarens

Schumacher appeared in the top 3, alongside the two McLarens

Kimi Raikkonen was the first out of the pits, setting a 1:36.833 after a scrappy lap. Jenson Button and then Lewis Hamilton beat that time, setting a 1:36.219.

Sebastian Vettel’s time was a second off Hamilton’s, though he set his time on primes. Nico Rosberg made a mistake on his lap, going 3rd. Teammate Michael Schumacher moved up to 2nd.

Fernando Alonso took 9th, while Mark Webber jumped up to 4th. Sebastian Vettel moved up to 6th, while Kimi Raikkonen could only go 5th. Rosberg did not set a final lap, and was a disappointing 8th.

Jenson Button was within a tenth of a second of Hamilton, ensuring another McLaren lockout of the front row.

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