LEWIS HAMILTON CLAIMS POLE FOR MERCEDES LOWERING ONCE MORE THE SEPANG LAP RECORD
FERRARI’S KIMI RAIKKONEN AND RED BULL’S MAX VERSTAPPEN USE JUST THREE SETS OF SUPERSOFT THROUGHOUT QUALIFYING
ONE PIT STOP POSSIBLE FOR 56-LAP RACE TOMORROW: IN THE CASE OF HOTTER CONDITIONS, A TWO-STOPPER COULD BE CHOSEN
Kuala Lumpur, September 30, 2017 - Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, following a dramatic qualifying held in warm conditions with just over 40 degrees of track temperature.
Both Mercedes drivers, as well as the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull of Max Verstappen, got through Q1 using the soft tyres only, which were around 0.8 seconds per lap slower than the supersofts during free practice.
From then on, the supersoft tyre was used throughout the rest of qualifying, which unusually took place at 5pm: two hours after tomorrow’s scheduled race start time.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“The supersoft was used throughout the qualifying hour, apart from four drivers who ran the soft to set their quickest times in Q1. Once more, the general tendency of seeing faster times this season after bringing softer compounds than last year has continued, with this year’s pole position nearly three seconds faster than the 2016 equivalent. Despite the increased demands on the tyres and faster cornering speeds – which have led to the quicker lap times, with the lap record falling many times this weekend – it’s possible we’ll see a one stop race tomorrow, using a supersoft-soft strategy. A two-stopper could become interesting if conditions are significantly warmer than in qualifying today. However, the variable weather here means that Sepang is always one of the hardest races to predict.”
HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
QUALIFYING TOP 10
MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR