Ferrari 1-2 again in 3rd and final practice for Malaysian GP

Hamilton needs no reminders

But it's not the often unbearable conditions that have forced the event to close it's operations, in April the Malaysian government chose to end their contract with with Formula One due to concerns regarding Tourism.

"My victory past year was definitely unexpected", he said.

The Frenchman spoke to CNN previous year explaining his role as a Red Bull development driver and it was clear then that he was itching to break into F1 this season.

Perez, who returned to his home town of Guadalajara after the last race in Singapore, has started a fundraising campaign for relief efforts.

Bottas believes he's still got opportunities to challenge the top two drivers and become the world champion but the first step would be to overtake Vettel.

Despite missing out on what would have been his first pole position since May's Monaco Grand Prix by just 0.045s to Hamilton, Raikkonen says he was happy with his qualifying performance.

As F1 bids farewell to the Sepang International Circuit after 19 seasons, Sebastian Vettel could well kiss goodbye to his 2017 title hopes if he doesn't dent Lewis Hamilton's lead soon. For me, it is making sure I have won it when I cross the line at the end of the season. The good news for Hamilton is Sebastien Vettel's 2016 Singapore Grand Prix was short-lived.

Last year, Hamilton was cruising to victory in Sepang when his engine cut out late on and he retired.

Will Lewis Hamilton surpass Michael Schumacher's tally?

Although Hamilton pipped Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to pole, his Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas will start only fifth on the grid. The 25 points Bottas could gain would propel him into 2nd place and within striking distance of Hamilton. I don't really know where it came from, to be honest, so I'm a little bit surprised at myself. It would also eliminate any leftover memories of his finish in Malaysia past year.

"We saved a lot of tyres, we can choose the strategy so there's lots of positives", he said.

Vettel's title hopes have been dealt a setback for the second race in a row. However, he does concede that the last two races in Italy — where he finished third — and Singapore were below par for a team of Ferrari's high standards.

Daniel Ricciardo has +900 odds to win this race and he comes in as the defending champion.

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The red flag for Romain Grosjean's accident in second practice means the team's data gathering over Friday long runs was cut short.

Hamilton, who had been struggling all weekend for pace, pulled it together at the final moment to set a blistering time to qualifying on front spot for the 70th time in his career.

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