Sebastian Vettel fastest, drain cover crash halts session


World championship leader Lewis Hamilton hailed an wonderful turnaround Saturday after taking pole for the Malaysian Grand Prix with title rival Sebastian Vettel condemned to the back of the grid.

The four-time champion, whose Ferrari had been fitted with a new engine ahead of qualifying after he ran into trouble at the end of practice, was struck by a lack of power while still on his first flying lap.He trundled back to the pits and, while mechanics tried to fix the auto and send him back out, the problems proved terminal.

The championship battle between Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has provided a gripping narrative, however, even if Sunday's race stretched the former's lead to a hefty 34 points.

Kuala Lumpur: Formula One is losing one of its toughest races with the departure of Malaysia from the calendar after this weekend's grand prix, triple world champion Lewis Hamilton said yesterday. "The vehicle felt good".

The three-time world champion was a massive 1.416seconds off Ferrari's early pacesetter Sebastian Vettel, who is 28 points behind the Briton in the Drivers' Championship.

There is a third and final practice on Saturday before qualifying at 5 p.m. local time.

"We have the whole race tomorrow to get back and we have to look at the positives that we have more tyres than everyone and we can maybe play with the strategy if it's a day where it could pay off to play with strategy", Vettel said. After hosting the Formula One (F1) World Championship for 19 years, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) today bid farewell to the once most anticipated vehicle race in the world. "When I was leading the championship and starting on pole position and tried to win the race normally I had not the best auto". It happened, there's not much you can do, and therefore not much point in trying to look at it again and again. Verstappen was taken out in the Vettel crash two weeks ago in Singapore and is due for a strong finish.

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Aaron Finch (94), who missed out on his ninth ODI century, was the next to depart, as pacer Umesh Yadav got his 100th ODI wicket. Rahane gave him good support from the other end, scoring 53 runs off 66 balls with six boundaries and a hit into the stands.

The German crashed out of pole position on the opening lap of the last race in Singapore, with Hamilton capitalising from fifth to win.

With less than 10 minutes before qualifying, Ferrari's mechanics hurriedly wheeled Raikkonen's vehicle back to the garage. "If you have the best vehicle I don't know that situation".

"We've just got to stay on our toes and keep trying to extract everything out of this vehicle". As I said, if you would choose, you want always to be ahead.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was sitting beside him during the press conference, sarcastically suggested to Raikkonen that he should "come back on holiday" to visit the airport. "Next thing I knew I was spinning and heading for the wall", the French driver said.

Mercedes got both drivers back out after their trips into the gravel, but Bottas could only manage fifth, 1.459s adrift of Vettel.

"I think it's good for the people to have a distraction, to have a moment of happiness".