Other Sports Hamilton sets Sepang record, on pole in Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton blew the field away to secure pole position for Sunday's Malaysia Grand Prix, with title rival Nico Rosberg starting second.

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Lewis Hamilton blew the field away to secure pole position for Sunday's Malaysia Grand Prix, with title rival Nico Rosberg starting second.

Hamilton twice beat the overall lap record at the Sepang International Circuit to secure his eighth pole of 2016 and the 100th front-row start of his illustrious career in a blistering time of one minute 32.850 seconds.

Rosberg left himself with one flying lap to get close to Hamilton in Q3 and will take some solace from joining his Mercedes team-mate on the front row, though he came in four tenths off the Briton's pace.

The German enjoys an eight-point lead over Hamilton with six races to go in the championship, thanks to three successive victories since the mid-season break.

Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are on the second row, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen starting fifth and sixth. The quartet were separated by just two tenths.

Verstappen beat his team-mate for just the third time since moving to Red Bull, and will hope 2016 can follow last year's template when he finished seventh for Toro Rosso, with the Australian down in 10th in the sister car.

To round off the top eight's two-by-two look, Force India's Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg fill the fourth row.

The Mexican was quicker than his team-mate but the qualifying sessions saw frenzied rumour that he could leave Force India at the end of the season.

Jenson Button commemorated his 300th race with a trip into Q3, trumping fellow Veteran Felipe Massa to ninth place. The Brit's McLaren colleague Fernando Alonso cruised around the track in Q1, qualifying last, but the Spaniard will care little given he came into the session carrying a 45-place grid penalty for engine infractions.

 

Provisional Classification:

1.  Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:32.850
2.  Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +0.414seconds
3.  Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.570s
4.  Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +0.617s
5.  Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +0.734s
6.  Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +0.782s
7.  Sergio Perez (Force India) +1.469s
8.  Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +1.639s
9.  Jenson Button (McLaren) +1.668s
10. Felipe Massa (Williams) +1.821s

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