Skip to main content

Record setting pole position for Lewis Hamilton in Malaysia

updated 11:25 AM EDT, Sat March 29, 2014
Lewis Hamilton was all smiles after finishing first in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton was all smiles after finishing first in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
  • Lewis Hamilton finishes first in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix
  • Hamilton claims his 33rd pole position to equal the British record
  • Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel places second behind Hamilton
  • Wet conditions at the Sepang Circuit made it tricky for drivers Saturday

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Lewis Hamilton grabbed his second straight pole position to begin the 2014 Formula One season. But he hopes the Malaysian Grand Prix goes better than the opener in Melbourne.

Hamilton was forced to retire early into the Australian Grand Prix this month and could only watch as Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg emerged victorious.

"For myself and for the team the priority is to try to bag as many points, collectively, me and Nico," Hamilton told reporters Saturday. "I think we have a great opportunity.

"We've got a great car and the team's just performing fantastically right now, so fingers crossed we both see our way through to the finish line."

Hamilton praises Mercedes progress
Can Caterham secure points in 2014?
Vettel: 'It will be a long season'
Vettel's dominance could bore F1 fans

Hamilton bettered reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull by 0.055 seconds in a rain-hit, eventful qualifying session at the Sepang International Circuit for the 33rd pole of his career. That ties him for the British record with Jim Clark.

Rosberg was third.

"Today was just incredible, how much, firstly, it rained before qualifying and then during the session it was very, very tricky out there I think for everyone," said Hamilton. "Particularly at the end it was almost impossible to see anything.

"During my last lap I just couldn't see a thing behind (Force India's Nico) Hulkenberg. I couldn't see where the track went, didn't know where the corners were, when to brake."

Even though he was only fractionally behind Hamilton in qualifying, Vettel suggested Mercedes was the team to beat Sunday.

"I think Mercedes as a team has the best package," he told reporters. "They've done a very good job across the break.

"I think they're the favorites at the moment, no matter, I think, where we go. As a fact, after that I think it's fairly close between the other Mercedes-powered teams and probably Ferrari and us."

Former world champion Fernando Alonso finished fourth -- despite colliding with Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso -- followed by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Caterham's Marcus Ericsson crashed in the first qualifying session, losing control of his car and hitting the wall.

Williams' Valtteri Bottas received a grid penalty -- going from 15th to 18th -- after impeding a not impressed Ricciardo.

"We raced each other a lot in the junior categories and I thought we had a lot of respect for each other, but it's a little difficult how many times he's done that now," Ricciardo was quoted as saying by

Read: Rosberg takes season opener

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 12:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
updated 1:14 PM EST, Fri November 7, 2014
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
updated 5:58 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
updated 1:45 PM EDT, Sun October 12, 2014
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
updated 9:58 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.