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Lewis Hamilton earns pole for Malaysian Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has earned pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, but rival Sebastian Vettel went out in Q1 after his Ferrari suffered an engine problem.

In recent races, Hamilton has opened up a 28-point advantage in the drivers’ standings, and the Brit has put himself in position to extend that advantage on Sunday.

It was disaster for Vettel, however, who will start at the back of the grid after an issue with his engine resulted in no time being recorded in the first session.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen joins Hamilton on the front row, while the Red Bull pairing of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are third and fourth respectively.

Valtteri Bottas is fifth in the other Mercedes, while Stoffel Vandoorne is a surprise seventh in the McLaren, with Fernando Alonso in 10th position.

The second Brit on the grid – Renault’s Jolyon Palmer – will start in 12th place.

Full standings

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
6. Esteban Ocon (Force India)
7. Stoffel Vandroone (McLaren)
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)
9. Sergio Perez (Force India)
10. Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
11. Felipe Massa (Williams)
12. Jolyon Palmer (Renault)
13. Lance Stroll (Williams)
14. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso)
15. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)
16. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
18. Pascal Wehrlein (Sauber)
19. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)
20. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

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