Hamilton takes Sepang pole

McLaren has continued its fine start to the 2012 Formula One season with driver Lewis Hamilton (Evs Malaysian GP outright) booking his place at the front of the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 2008 world champion was fastest in qualifying on Saturday, as he beat team-mate Jenson Button (2/1 Malaysian GP outright) by 0.149 seconds in the searing heat in South East Asia.

Having taken first and second place at the Australian Grand Prix last weekend, McLaren showed their pace one again, as reigning constructors’ champions Red Bull struggled to keep up.

World title holder Sebastian Vettel had to settle for sixth fastest on Saturday, with Mark Webber taking fourth ahead of the second meeting of the campaign.

The surprise of the day was the return to form of Michael Schumacher as he fired his Mercedes into third place on the grid for Sunday’s race, just in behind the two McLarens.

Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth fastest in qualifying but due to a gearbox change following a malfunction in practice, the Finn will start in 10th place on the grid.

Ferrari were once again well off the pace, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa having to settle for eighth and 12th on the grid respectively.

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