Hamilton claims second pole in Malaysian heat

Posted on March 24, 2012

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Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the second week in a row with a storming lap at the beginning of today’s final qualifying session.

Hamilton wants to get his season on track in Malaysia after his second pole. Credit: McLaren.com

The Briton’s rivals had no answer to his time of 1m 32.219s. Jenson Button came close right at the end and will start second again, just as in Australia.

Hamilton will be desperate not to see a repeat of the start last weekend when his team mate jumped him off the line and went on to dominate the race, claiming an impressive win to get his season up and running.

Behind the McLaren lock out there was a curious session on several fronts. Michael Schumacher looked like he might roll back the years with a front row grid slot in his Mercedes before Button edged him out by three thousandths of a second.

But it took the seven time champion an extra run to set his time. Mercedes looked at one stage as if they might struggle to get into Q3 – they are perhaps having set up issues and burning through an extra set of tyres will not help him tomorrow.

Red Bull behind struggled again. Sebastian Vettel made the curious choice to make his final run on the harder tyres and will start fifth after Kimi Raikkonen is moved back. Mark Webber did a little better, qualifying fourth, but the reigning champions don’t currently look particularly quick here. Their race pace will have to be considerably better to move forward.

Ferrari’s troubles continue. Felipe Massa was a pretty poor twelfth and Fernando Alonso could only drag the lame prancing horse up to ninth. He’ll be promoted up to eigth by Raikkonen – who is moving back five for changing a gearbox.

It’s hard to see past a second McLaren win in the heat tomorrow – unless the monsoon arrives. Which would be fun.

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