Strategic error costs Hamilton in qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton believes that he missed out on pole position due to a strategic error in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

During the top-ten shootout for pole position, some of the drivers opted to pit with a few minutes left for fresh intermediate tires, but Hamilton stayed out on track in pursuit of an improved lap time. However, he could not post a quicker time, whilst Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso all benefited from fresh tires to finish in the top three.

“Putting new tires on was definitely the way to go,” said Hamilton. “Our strategy was to stay out, we thought it would dry up more and it work in our favor, but it didn’t.”

Hamilton eventually qualified fourth, but he was still disappointed with the result despite beating teammate Nico Rosberg and Australian GP winner Kimi Raikkonen.

“I want to be on pole so initially when you get out of the car you don’t think you’re happy.”

Nico Rosberg was also disappointed to have missed out on pole position, with the German driver qualifying in 6th.

“I was the fastest guy out there and had the best car,” said Rosberg. He had finished quickest in Q2, but the change in conditions made life difficult in Q3.

“Then unfortunately the rain came. I just messed up the strategy, staying out there when others came in for a new set and I had damaged tires.”

Mercedes may have repeatedly written off their chances of winning races in 2013, but their dry pace in Malaysia suggests that they could be in the running if the forecast rain does not hit Sepang during the race. However, with Ferrari and Red Bull also impressing in qualifying, they will have a fight on their hands to score heavily in Malaysia.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.