Adrian Sutil has finished the first Qualifying session at the Malaysian Grand Prix on top. The German who impressed last week in his return to the sport, set down an early lap which put him nearly two-tenths clear of closest man Kimi Raikkonen who topped the second Free Practice session on Friday afternoon.
No traffic jams in the pitlane as the cars played a waiting game when Q1 started. Two minutes later, Max Chilton graced the track, followed by Jules Bianchi, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo. Raikkonen, Alonso, Massa, Hamilton and Rosberg were straight in and setting hot laps while Vettel, Webber and Grosjean watched them from the screens in the garage.
10 minutes in, Sutil set his 1.36.809 while Red Bull decided to shake a leg, both drivers emerging on Medium tires. Grosjean made P4 on his first lap while the RB9’s both backed off their first lap and got ready to try again. It was nothing special, a 13th and a 15th for Vettel and Webber. Another lap showed know big improvement and it was left to a final lap to ensure they avoided the drop zone. Webber scraped a P9 – Still eight-tenths shy of the Force India, while Vettel narrowly made it through the session, finishing up in 15th.
Also, Sergio Perez will be crossing his fingers that the stewards are merciful after holding Nico Hulkenberg up in the run into T9.
Giedo van der Garde