Formula One

               === Hamilton tops Vettel for Malaysian GP pole ===
 Sepang,  Malaysia ( - Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes edged Red
 Bull's  Sebastian  Vettel by  a  slim  margin  to win  Saturday's  rain-soaked
 qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
 Qualifying  at  Sepang International Circuit  was delayed more than 50 minutes
 due to a torrential downpour.
 Hamilton  claimed  his second pole position  in as many grand prix this season
 with  a  lap in  1 minute,  59.431 seconds.  His 33rd  career Formula One pole
 placed him in a tie with Jim Clark for most pole wins among British drivers in
 the history of the sport.
 "I'm  really  happy with  the job  the team has  done throughout the weekend,"
 Hamilton  said. "Today was just incredible, firstly, how much it rained before
 qualifying,  and  then during  the session,  it was very  tricky out there for
 everyone, particularly at the end. It was almost impossible to see. I couldn't
 do  my  last lap. I couldn't  see where the  track went, didn't know where the
 corners were and where to brake."
 Two  weeks  ago, Hamilton  started on  pole for the  Australian Grand Prix but
 suffered  engine failure  on  the opening  lap, which  forced  him to  retire.
 Hamilton  has yet to win the Malaysian GP. He finished third after starting on
 pole in this event in 2012.
 Vettel,  the four-time  defending F1 world champion, has rebounded nicely from
 the  Australian GP  with a second-place finish in qualifying. His lap was just
 0.055  seconds  behind Hamilton.  Vettel qualified 13th  in Australia. He also
 retired early in that race when his power unit failed.
 During  the first  round in qualifying here in Malaysia, Vettel experienced an
 energy  store problem.  His Red Bull team  was able to correct the problem and
 quickly put him back on track.
 "At  the beginning  of  Q1, the  heartbeat  was rising  very  quickly when  we
 realized  there was an issue," Vettel said. "I came in [to the garage], and we
 restarted the car, which seemed to solve the problem. After that, it was fine.
 "It was good to go out and get another feel for the car in the wet conditions.
 It  was very tricky,  for sure. Q3 was not perfect. I would've loved to have a
 second  go. On my first attempt, I felt there was a little bit of time to gain
 here and there. It was very close, too close."
 Vettel  has won  three of the last  four Malaysian GPs, including a victory in
 this race one year ago.
 Hamilton's teammate, Nico Rosberg, qualified third. Rosberg won the Australian
 "It's  a decent place to be in, third place," Rosberg said. "The race is going
 to  be  long [Sunday].  Who knows  what the weather  is going  to do? I'm just
 looking forward to tomorrow and try to make the most of it again."
 Fernando  Alonso from  Ferrari rebounded  from an  incident with  Toro Rosso's
 Daniil Kvyat to finish fourth in qualifying. Both drivers made contact late in
 Q1  when  Kvyat, a  rookie this  season, locked  up and  slid into Alonso, who
 sustained   slight  damage   to  his  front  right  suspension.  Ferrari  made
 expeditious repairs to his car.
 Daniel  Ricciardo from  Red Bull  qualified fifth,  followed by  Ferrari's Kim
 Raikkonen  and  Nico Hulkenberg  from Force  India. McLaren's Kevin Magnussen,
 fresh  off a  second-place  finish  in Australia,  will  start  eighth in  the
 Malaysian GP.
 03/29 08:06:51 ET

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