Hamilton takes Malaysian GP pole, Vettel to start last after engine drama

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Lewis Hamilton boosted his hopes for a fourth Formula 1 world championship in 2017 by taking pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday, with chief title rival Sebastian Vettel set to start the race last on the grid.

Vettel suffered an electronic issue on his power unit in FP3 that forced Ferrari to change the engine on his car, with the team working rapidly to ensure the German did not miss any of qualifying.

Vettel ventured out to set an early lap in Q1, only to suffer a loss of power that forced him to return to the pits so that Ferrari could try and resolve the issue.

With the team’s efforts proving fruitless, Vettel set no time in qualifying, leaving him 20th overall and handing Hamilton another break point in their F1 title match-up.

Hamilton took full advantage of Vettel’s demise by sweeping to his fifth pole at the Sepang International Circuit and the 70th of his entire F1 career, turning in a best lap of 1:30.076.

Hamilton struggled on his second flying lap in Q3, giving Raikkonen the chance to snatch pole back away for Ferrari.

A rapid effort through the first two sectors put Raikkonen in a good position, only to make an error at the final corner and lock up, leaving him 0.045 seconds short of Hamilton and left to settle for P2.

Red Bull locked out the second row of the grid with Max Verstappen third and Daniel Ricciardo fourth, while Valtteri Bottas took fifth for Mercedes, six-tenths of a second behind his teammate.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon headed up the midfield battle in sixth, while Stoffel Vandoorne delivered a surprising result for McLaren in P7 ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg.

Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso failed to match their teammates at Force India and McLaren for pace, finishing P9 and P10 overall.

Williams had a difficult session as both Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll were knocked out in Q2, despite having shown signs of being able to fight inside the top 10 earlier in the session, finishing 11th and 13th.

Carlos Sainz Jr. led Toro Rosso’s charge in P14, closely followed by debutant Pierre Gasly, who will start his first F1 race from 15th place on the grid after a solid first outing.

Haas’ hopes of getting back in the fight at the front of the midfield fell flat as Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were both eliminated in Q1, qualifying 16th and 17th respectively ahead of Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, with Vettel propping up the order.

The Malaysian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2am ET on Sunday.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.