2012 Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton grabs pole, Button second and Schumacher third

After finishing on podium at the season opening Australian Grand Prix, McLaren F1 team drivers; Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have once again set the pace and managed to qualify in the front row for tomorrow’s 2012 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, who was also the fastest driver during Practice 1 and Practice 2, managed to squeeze in a lap time of 1:36.219 during the final qualifying earlier today. Hamilton’s teammate; Button qualified second with a lap time of 1:36.368 while seven time world champion, Michael Schumacher will start tomorrow’s race from the third position. Last time Michael Schumacher qualified so high on the grid was back in 2006 when he started in the first row (2nd position) at the Japanese Grand Prix.

After the qualifying, Lewis Hamilton said, “It’s been a good weekend so far. It’s been a tough day with the changeable weather and the temperatures climbing. We made some set up changes to the car, we still managed to do some good times – even with these guys pushing behind. Everyone is under the same amount of pressure. We all put pressure on ourselves. It’s very intense and the most exciting part of the weekend. I really enjoy it. I don’t know if the best place to start is here. It’s a long haul down to Turn One. The key is looking after our tyres and hopefully our car is in a much better position for the race tomorrow.”

Button said, “Qualifying has been pretty good to me in the last two races so I can’t complain too much. It’s good for us as a team to be on the front row again. It’s nice to hear all your mechanics cheering in the background. I wanted it the other way round, but Lewis did a great job. It’s going to be a fun Turn 1.”

Schumacher said, “This was the maximum that was available. We managed to work the car very well over the whole weekend. The focus was to try and find the best compromise for both [the qualifying and the race] and I guessed we have achieved this. Third here is a very tight business so we can be more than happy and I look forward to tomorrow. I guess all of us have certain concerns because those temperatures are pretty new to us. We have learned quite a lesson in Australia and we have reacted. I’m more than happy with the progress and how we understand the car.”

2012 Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix Final Qualifying Results

1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.922
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:25.074
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:25.302
4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:25.336
5 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.651
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.668
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.686
8 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:25.908
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.451
10 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:26.319
11 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:26.429
12 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.494
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.590
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:26.663
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.086
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.497
17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.596
18 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:27.758
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:28.679
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:29.018
21 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.923
22 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:31.670
DNQ 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:33.495
DNQ 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:33.643
Q1 107% Time 1:32.214