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Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying 
22nd-Mar-2008 10:05 am
Hamilton was fastest in Saturday's practice and Button was #4, so here's hoping it'll be a good weekend for the English. (I would say the Brits but DC seems to have 1,001 problems so far and is probably just wishing it was over.)

Don't forget that rain is forcast for every afternoon this weekend, so it'll be important for everyone to bank a time early in each session.

Also, remember that Nakajima has a 10 grid spot penalty following the Australian GP.

That's odd - there's no sound! Not just no commentary - nothing!

Qualifying session 1 (Q1):
SB 1:38.410
FM 1:36.068
(LH P2)
KR 1:35.997
(FA P5)
KR 1:35.645
(TG P3!)
FM 1:35.347
(LH P2)
Aha! It just flashed up "Audio trouble temporary" - not great English, but hopefully the sound will be fixed soon
OK, now take down the message - it's overwriting the timing data :(
HK 1:35.227
HK locks up and runs a bit wide in the final corner
10mins left (halfway through this session)
NH struggling to keep his car on track
(KN P7!)
Yay - sound is back, with ~8mins left of Q1
(JB P7)
JT 1:35.205 - wow, that's great for Toyota
5mins left; bottom 6 are FA, SV, DC, AD, AS, TS
(FA can't improve on P17)
(FA P9)
(DC P12 - not great but enough to get through to Q2)
SB runs very wide, across the grass - replay shows him fighting with the car but not obvious signs of mechanical failure
1min left; bottom 6 are KN, SB, SV, AD, AS & TS
Flag is out
(SV P14, relegating GF)
(GF P16, bumping RB)
(RB re-takes P16 from GF)
Fastest was JT
Bottom 6 are: P17=GF, 18=KN*, 19=SB, 20=TS, 21=AS, 22=AD
*KN's penalty will move him to P22 and promote SB, TS, AS & AD

It's looking quite overcast in Sepang
Apparently SB's off was caused by a brake failure

Qualifying session 2 (Q2):
All four McLaren and Ferrari drivers are on track as soon as Q2 starts
HK 1:34.759
(LH P2)
KR 1:34.188
(FM P3)
(RK P3)
(NH P2) - that's BMW in P2+3
5mins left; bottom 6 are DC, TG, NR, NP, RB, SV
LH in P7 - will he need to put in another lap to make sure he gets through to Q3?
2:10 left - LH & FM both set off for another lap
1min left; bottom 6 are DC, TG, NR, NP, RB, SV
Flag's out
(SV P12)
(TG P7, relegating JB)
(FM P2)
(LH P3)
Bottom 6 are: P11=JB, 12=DC, 13=NP, 14=RB, 15=SV, 16=NR

Qualifying session 3 (Q3):
Battling for the top 10 spots are KR,FM, LH, NH, HK, RK, JT, MW, TG & FA
LH & HK start Q3 on the harder tyre; KR & FM are on the softer compound
HK 1:37.076
(LH P2)
KR 1:36.507
FM 1:36.434
(RK P4)
NH runs wide but avoids the gravel trap
FA fights the Renault round for P9
TG runs wide but recovers
LH blocked by a Toyota as he starts his flying lap
KR 1:36.230
FM 1:35.748
(HK P3)
(RK P4)
(LH P4)
Flag's out and most of the drivers are coasting back to the pits, trying to save fuel
NH & FA are still on flying laps but they've got to navigate around the slow moving front-runners
Top 10 are P1=FM, 2=KR, 3=HK, 4=LH, 5=JT, 6=RK, 7=NH, 8=MW, 9=FA, 10=TG
The on-board footage with NH shows him flashing past the McLaren and Ferrari snails
Will the stewards say anyone slowed those last flying laps?
The FIA definitely need to think about a minimum speed limit for Q3

Provisional grid: FM, KR, HK, LH, JT, RK, NH, MW, FA, TG, JB, DC, NP, RB, SV, NR, GF, SB, TS, AS, AD, KN*
*Applying Nakajima's 10 grid spot penalty imposed after the Australian GP.
22nd-Mar-2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
Well, we went one whole race without the FIA penalising McLaren.
McLaren drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton will each drop five places on the grid for Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix after stewards decided they had blocked rival drivers in the closing stages in qualifying. They will now start the race eighth and ninth respectively.
[source: FIA]

This means the revised (but still provisional) grid is: FM, KR, JT, RK, NH, MW, FA, HK*, LH*, TG, JB, DC, NP, RB, SV, NR, GF, SB, TS, AS, AD, KN*
(*indicates penalties imposed)
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