Amidst gathering thunderclouds that kept both the F1 teams as well as the fans on tenterhooks, Formula1 qualifying at the Sepang Formula1 Circuit at Malaysia saw some on-the-edge action. Just as Mclaren looked to walk away with the qualifying honours with Lewis Hamilton displaying super pace at the Malaysian F1 circuit, reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel put in an abolute blinder to clinch the pole position for Team Redbull Renault, thus pipping Lewis Hamilton by the slimmest of margins, one tenth of a second, or 0.1 seconds. That was how close it really was.
Jenson Button also displayed some very good pace which saw him qualifying third fastest behind Vettel and Hamilton while Mark Webber somehow struggled with car balance to finish fourth fastest. Both the Ferraris were off color throughout qualifying and to save face had to use softer compounds in Q2 itself which meant that for a brief period, Felipe Massa occupied pole with Fernando Alonso in third place in Q2. Finally the Ferraris of Alonso and Massa only managed to 5th and 7th places respectively and will be hoping to have decent race tomorrow.
Seven time world champion Michael Schumacher, driving for Mercedes, also looked out of sorts as he could only manage to finish in eleventh place after not qualifying for the Q3 session with team mate and fellow German, Nico Rosberg managing to oust him from the tenth place in Q2. Rosberg meanwhile, will start tomorrow’s race in ninth position. The Renaults of Nick Heidfeld and Vitay Petrov managed to acquire sixth and eighth starting positions on the grid while Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi managed to go 10th fastest in his Sauber.
Force India’s rookie Paul Di Resta once again out-qualified his more experienced team mate, Adrian Sutil to take 14th place on the starting grid while Sutil will start from the 17th place. Indian F1 fans will be thrilled at the prospect of Narain Karthikeyan finally managing to qualify his HRT F1 car for tomorrows race day in the 24th and final grid position as Narain managed to get under the 107% exclusion rule. So, that is some big relief for Narain and he HRT team as Vitantonio Liuzzi also managed to qualify in 23rd place.