Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton went fastest on the soft tyre in qualifying (as he did in FP3 earlier today) with a pole time of 1m32.850s: more than six seconds faster than last year’s fastest time, set in Q2, of 1m39.269s, and close to the fastest-ever lap run round Sepang, which was 1m32.582s (set by Fernando Alonso in first qualifying in 2005).
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Track temperatures fluctuated throughout the day, which had an effect on lap times as the drivers and teams completed qualifying simulations and longer race runs, using all three of the compounds available: hard, medium, and soft.
The FIA communicated to Pirelli each team’s tyre choices for the forthcoming Japanese Grand Prix (Suzuka, October 7 – October 9).
About the only thing in common that the Malaysian Grand Prix has with the nearby Singapore Grand Prix that preceded it is humidity: around 80% humidity is a common occurrence, as a result of which there are tropical torrential downpours almost on a daily basis