Ferrari to change engine of Vettel's vehicle as precautionary measure

Red Bull Dominates First Practice Session at Malaysia GP

The F1 championship leader blitzed the times on his opening run with a new lap record of 1m 30.076s at the Sepang International Circuit and was able to hold on to pole position after Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen narrowly missed out by 0.045s on his final flying lap in Q3.

Max Verstappen celebrated his 20th birthday on Saturday by once again outqualifying teammate Daniel Ricciardo as the Red Bull pair complete row two, just ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes who starts fifth.

"Looking at it now there has been one race where we didn't finish, and certainly it didn't help that it was the one race where Lewis scored a lot of points, but that's the way it goes".

An inspection of the auto back in the Ferrari garage appeared to indicate only a minor issue but efforts were ultimately abandoned, leaving the German driver to start his race tomorrow from the back of the grid. "We have been on the receiving end of those bad moments before, and we know that they can happen as easily to us as anybody else".

"It's a real surprise to be up here with these guys, but I'm really grateful".

Ferrari will at least be able to add new engine components to Vettel's vehicle ahead of Sunday's race, with grid penalties no longer an issue given he is already at the back of the field. "I don't really know what happened to Sebastian today".

Grosjean said: "I didn't see anything and then suddenly I had a big hit on the right rear".

Hamilton, who retired from a dominant lead with a blown engine in Malaysia a year ago which eventually cost him the title, capitalised on Vettel's misfortune to take victory in Singapore.

There were comforting words from Vettel to his mechanics, and he chose to look on the bright side of a complex situation such as saving tires for race day.

"Set-up is always a compromise in Malaysia as you need a good auto in the middle sector, but you also can't afford to lose too much time on those long straights".

"It was a shame that I couldn't get it out".

"I didn't sleep very well, just like all my engineers as well, because we didn't know whether we would fix the issue or not".

"I think it depends on the points you have at the end of the year".

"It's always a special thing when you're able to extract a little bit more out of the auto than it's probably willing to go".

"But I can feel for Ferrari and I can feel for Sebastian because I know it's a hard situation". Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez, while the second McLaren driven by Fernando Alonso rounded up the top ten positions.

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