Lewis Hamilton claims pole for Mercedes lowering the sepang lap record once more

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen used just three sets of Pirelli supersoft tires throughout qualifying

One pit stop is possible for the 56-lap race tomorrow; or a two-stop tire strategy could be chosen in hotter conditions

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton hasclaimed pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, following a dramatic qualifyingsession held in warm conditions with a track temperature of approximately 104 degreesfahrenheit.

Both Mercedes Formula 1 drivers, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s MaxVerstappen all got through Qualifying 1 using the Pirelli soft tires, which were around 0.8seconds per lap slower than the supersoft tires during free practice.

Pirelli’s supersoft tire was then used throughout the rest of qualifying, which was at theunusual time of 5pm. This is two hours after tomorrow’s scheduled race start time.

MARIO ISOLA – PIRELLI’S HEAD OF CAR RACING
“The supersoft tire was used throughout the qualifying hour, apart from four drivers whoran the soft to set their quickest times in Q1. Once more, the general tendency of seeingfaster times this season after bringing softer compounds than last year has continued,with this year’s pole position nearly three seconds faster than the 2016 equivalent.Despite the increased demands on the tires and faster cornering speeds – which haveled to the quicker lap times, with the lap record falling many times this weekend – it’spossible we’ll see a one stop race tomorrow, using a supersoft-soft tire strategy. A twostoppercould become interesting if conditions are significantly warmer than in qualifyingtoday. However, the variable weather here means that Sepang is always one of thehardest races to predict.”

HOW THE PIRELLI TIRES BEHAVED TODAY

This tire was used throughout
the majority of qualifying.
The top 10 drivers will start
the race on this tire tomorrow.
The top four drivers in
Qualifying 1 used the soft tire
to get through the session.
Seen in Free Practice 3, this tire
is unlikely to feature in
tomorrow’s race, with a big
performance gap compared to
the soft tire.

FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES

DRIVER TIME TIRE COMPOUND
Raikkonen 1m31.880s SUPERSOFT NEW
Vettel 1m32.042s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ricciardo 1m32.091s SUPERSOFT NEW

QUALIFYING TOP 10

DRIVER TIME TIRE COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m30.076s SUPERSOFT NEW
Raikkonen 1m30.121s SUPERSOFT NEW
Verstappen 1m30.541s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ricciardo 1m30.595s SUPERSOFT NEW
Bottas 1m30.758s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ocon 1m31.478s SUPERSOFT NEW
Vandoorne 1m31.582s SUPERSOFT NEW
Hulkenberg 1m31.607s SUPERSOFT NEW
Perez 1m31.658s SUPERSOFT NEW
Alonso 1m31.704s SUPERSOFT NEW

MOST LAPS BY TIRE COMPOUND SO FAR

TIRE COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS
MEDIUM Stroll 9
SOFT Ericsson 23
SUPERSOFT Palmer 17
INTERMEDIATE Gasly 13
WET 14 drivers 1

BEST TIME BY TIRE COMPOUND SO FAR

TIRE COMPOUND DRIVER TIME
MEDIUM Stroll 1m36.781s
SOFT Hamilton 1m31.605s
SUPERSOFT Hamilton 1m30.076s
INTERMEDIATE Verstappen 1m48.962s

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For further information please contact
Roberto Boccafogli • +39 335 125 6694 • roberto.boccafogli@pirelli.com

Maria Stella Narciso • +39 338 942 3585 • mariastella.narciso@pirelli.com
Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com

Sara Vimercati • +39 366 620 9720 • sara.vimercati@pirelli.com

John Paolo Canton • +1 347 809 0994 • jp.canton@pirelli.com (Director of Communications and Consumer Marketing, NAFTA Region)

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