2014 Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying Report.
After the intrigue of Malaysia it was going to be interesting to see how much had changed since the first race in Australia. However this was also a rain affected qualifying session with Q1 initially delayed for 50 mins due to a heavy storm and standing water. In the end however it was Lewis Hamilton who won the fight for pole position, his 33rd equalling that of the great Jim Clark.
|2||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:59.399||1:59.486|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||2:00.147||2:00.541|
|7||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||2:00.839||2:01.712|
|14||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||2:02.511|
As you can see Hamilton finished 0.055 seconds ahead of Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg lines up third with Alonso an incredible 4th. Ricciardo and Raikkonen were 5th and 6th respectively.
Hamilton said “Today was incredible, How heavy was the rain? It was tricky out there for everyone because at the end it was almost impossible to see. I couldn’t see where the track went, where the corners were, where to brake. I had to bail out of my final fast lap, so it was very close.”
Wet weather specialist Nico Hulkenberg was 7th and Kevin Magnussen (or K-Mag as everyone is now calling him) taking 8th beating his team-mate Jenson Button who lines up 10th. Jenson gambled on intermediate tyres for Q3 which meant he ended up 1.8secs slower than his team-mate. Jean-Eric Vergne split the Mclaren’s in 9th.
However it was vergne’s team mate who caused a red flag in Q2 after a coming together with Alonso which damaged the Spaniard’s left front suspension. Ferrari performed a miracle to get his car fixed and get him back out to set a time but the duo were subject to a stewards investigation which later was deemed to need no further action. The incident was caused when Alonso went wide into turn 9 & Kvyat went for the inside thinking there would alonso had left the door open, They then collided when they reached the apex. Kvyat finished 11th.
Alonso said “I don’t blame him . I think it was 50:50 probably, because I didn’t see him. I was lucky to run again. I think he ran again also, so that was the best news.”
Williams had a poor qualifying as both drivers struggled in the wet conditions, Massa 13th behind Sauber’s Gutierrez, and team-mate Bottas 15th behind Perez. (however he received a 3 place grid penalty for impeding Ricciardo)