Lewis Hamilton 'surprised' to take pole position in Malaysia

Max Verstappen with girls he is linked

GETTY INSTAGRAM MAX VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing F1 star turns 20 today- and he is linked to a number of girls

"I'm sorry for what happened to Sebastian because obviously he was very quick through practice but somehow we turned it round. I'm surprised to be up here".

Vettel clocked a new lap record to go quickest in second practice with his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen second.

"This again was a Lewis lap", said Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda. "So I think it's more the driver here than the vehicle, to be honest".

"It feels like I have no turbo", he said over team radio. "Maybe we shouldn't underestimate the driving factor".

According to Hamilton, the team even used two different set of aerodynamic packages to test the auto. However, teammate Valtteri Bottas only sits 51 points behind his teammate.

The Englishman revealed his crew had worked until 2am on Saturday morning in a bid to rectify the issue. Before qualifying I was thinking of going back to the new package because our times were similar and Valtteri seemed happy on it so I didn't want to carry a penalty going into qualifying, you want every little millisecond you can get. Hamilton did manage to avoid beaching the vehicle and was able to limp back to the pits, where his mechanics removed the nose and started making frantic changes to the set-up.

Bottas was only fifth, nearly seven tenths adrift of Hamilton. That is why we ended up staying on it.

Both drivers found the gravel trap in the early stages as they wrestled with their cars and the struggles continued into the qualifying simulation runs as the W08 looked really unsettled through the corners.

Roos Van Der Aa
INSTAGRAM BLOGGER Roos Van Der Aa was linked to Max last summer after a'date in Monaco

"I don't think it's the upgrade issue", Wolff told Sky F1.

"We had some big calls to make going into qualifying and then those laps - particularly the first Q3 lap - was very well put together", he said.

Raikkonen, who qualified second in Sepang, was wiped out of the Singapore Grand Prix within seconds of the start as he collided with Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel after making a lightning-fast getaway.

The Briton will not need to win another race this year if he triumphs on Sunday with Vettel lower than second or if he outscores the German by more than seven points.

"We will see tomorrow if that is still the case".

"We still have a tough race ahead of us and hopefully it will unfold (well)". However, it is the fifth race out of the last six where the former has been edged out by the latter in qualifying, with a gap of 0.5 seconds or more. Not much you can do - I think it's part of racing.

He added: "We had such a hard day (on Friday) and it was hard to know where we stood. We hope Seb will make a good recovery but it's not going to change my race".

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