Sepang: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, beating his teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg by four tenths of a second in qualifying on Saturday.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. AP
Hamilton headed Mercedes' first-ever front-row lockout in Malaysia and set a new lap record at the Sepang International Circuit with a time of 1 minute, 32.850 seconds.
While Hamilton has been unconvincing in race starts this season, taking pole position should boost his confidence as he seeks to make up an eight-point deficit to Rosberg in the drivers' championship.
Third on the grid will be birthday boy Max Verstappen, who celebrated turning 19 on Friday before clocking 1:33.420 a day later, less than 0.2sec off the pace of Rosberg.
Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo completes the second row of the grid for Sunday's race, ahead of the Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.