The Formula 1 circus has now returned to the 3.344 mile Sepang circuit for the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix. Qualifying concluded today and upon seeing the drivers get out of the cars, then you know that it once again is very hot and humid.
The pole position was won by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton for the second time this year in the first two races. His teammate, Jenson Button, qualified in second position. Michael Schumacher is delivering on the fast practice times by Mercedes and qualified third. This is his best qualifying position since 2006.
Mercedes Has Shown Increased Speed So Far in 2012 (photo by Mercedes-Benz)
The Red Bull racing team, Webber and Vettel, in that order qualified fourth and fifth. Grosjean is showing that he belongs in Formula 1 by qualifying the Lotus in sixth. Rosberg, in the other Mercedes, will start seventh.
Ferrari must be disappointed once again. Alonso will start in eighth position, 0.9 seconds behind Rosberg’s time in seventh. Meanwhile Massa, in the other Ferrari will start 12th on the grid. This has not been a good start to the year by the Ferrari team.
Penalties also played a role in the starting grid. Raikkonen in his Lotus, qualified with an equal time to Red Bull’s Webber, but a five grid place penalty for a gear box change has moved Raikkonen back to a 10th place start on the grid.
In addition, a carry over penalty from the 2012 Australian Grand Prix moved Kovalainen in his Caterham-Renault back five grid positions and he will start 24th or last on the grid. This will prevent the two HRT-Cosworth cars from being the last two cars. Unlike the Australian Grand Prix, for the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, the two HRT-Cosworth cars did beat the 107% rule and will be permitted to start the race.
Qualifying Results and Starting Grid Positions for the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix
|4||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.461|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.634|
|14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:37.877|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:37.890|
|22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:42.914|
To watch the Malaysian Grand Prix race live tomorrow, those of us on the east coast of the United States will have to get up in the middle of the night. Who cares! I’ll do it anyway.