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Airport, hotel, circuit - Raikkonen sees no reason to miss Malaysian GP

02 October, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Christina Hansen
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The champions, who are 102 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors' standings, have won just once in Malaysia since the introduction of the 1.6 litre turbo-hybrid engines in 2014.

Having struggled in all three practice sessions, finishing no higher than fifth, Mercedes driver Hamilton suddenly found the pace he needed to take the 70th pole of his career ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton and his mechanics opted to strip the auto of the updates for Saturday and it did the trick. The lap time is reality. So a surprise to be up here but I'm very grateful.

"Straight away the auto felt good and I saw Lewis was struggling a bit with traction. of course he has more to lose than me in the championship so I went for it in turn one", Verstappen said of his overtake on lap four.

There is a third and final practice on Saturday before qualifying at 5 p.m. local time.

Hamilton, who suffered a similar championship setback to Vettel a year ago in Malaysia when his engine blew while he was leading, downplayed the Singapore race as the season's decisive turning point. If he converts it into a victory today, with Vettel lower than second, or outscores the German by more than seven points, the 32-year-old won't need to win another race this season to clinch a fourth title. "When I was leading the championship and starting on pole position and tried to win the race normally I had not the best vehicle".

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"If it happened tomorrow it would be more of a problem".

Raikkonen was a first-bend casualty in the Singapore carnage along with Max Verstappen.

IT'S round 15 of 20 and the gloves are off for the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.

"I think it would have been more hard if I had lost the auto somewhere in the race", the German, a record four-time victor in Malaysia, said.

"To be honest, I don't know if we're going to miss it".

"We will try to make sure we do the first two corners well and go from there". Coverage starts at 6.30am on Sunday with the track parade followed by the pit lane and race build-up.

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The Australian sensed an opportunity on Sunday. "Next thing I knew I was spinning and heading for the wall", he said.

Mercedes got both drivers back out after their trips into the gravel, but Bottas could only manage fifth, 1.459s adrift of Vettel.

Meanwhile, the organiser of one of the support events apologised to spectators after every auto ran out of fuel and embarrassingly failed to complete the race.

"We're definitely lacking performance, it seems like Ferrari and Red Bull are very strong", Bottas said.

This weekend, Formula One travels to Malaysia to tackle the Sepang International Circuit.

Malaysia's government, who have bankrolled the event since its inception, in April announced they were no longer prepared to shell out $67 million a year to stage it.

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