I'm not too anxious about the point difference, says Sebastian Vettel

I'm not too anxious about the point difference, says Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is refusing to read too much into Mercedes' Friday struggles in Malaysia despite finishing over 1.4 seconds clear of Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton in FP2 at Sepang.

Power unit problems forced the German, who trails Hamilton by 28 points in the championship after crashing out on the opening lap of the last race in Singapore, back into the pits while he was on his first flying lap.

Ferrari opted to change the internal combustion engine as a result, and while they did manage to complete the "precautionary change" before the start of qualifying, when Vettel went out he reported an issue with the turbo.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo filled the second row, with Valtteri Bottas fifth in the second Mercedes.

Sunday's race is live on the BBC Sport website and radio 5 live at 08:00 BST. The Finn was quickest through the middle sector but a slight lock-up at the final corner saw him cross the line just 0.045s shy of Hamilton.

Bottas was optimistic the team could have a better Saturday.

But Mercedes were in the ball park from the start of qualifying and Hamilton pulled out another stunning lap to secure pole.

Worryingly for Hamilton, the auto was struggling on both short runs with low fuel and longer runs with high fuel.

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"I have no idea how the guys turned it around but I am really grateful", Hamilton said.

Ferrari fitted a new internal combustion engine and MGU-H ahead of qualifying, meaning Vettel has used four of both components this season.

Ricciardo says Malaysia can be a bit of a bitch when it comes to tuning the vehicle right. It is what it is. It also eased the risk of torrential downpours associated with the Spring in Malaysia, and it seemed to work previous year as we experienced a totally dry race..

"It's very hard to identify what's wrong with the vehicle, but when Lewis puts the throttle down he does it very well, so I think it's more the driver here than the auto to be honest". That's maybe why I am pretty relaxed.

"It is okay, but when you get that close [to getting pole] it is disappointing, but I made the most out of it", Raikkonen added. Fernando Alonso, who vaulted up the order on a rapidly drying track to end the first session third, was an impressive fifth for McLaren.

Behind Bottas, the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were eighth and 10th, split by Renault's Nico Hulkenberg.

"Hopefully they check all the drains", Ricciardo said. "I am very happy to have this opportunity". "The key area we are going to need to focus on tonight will be getting the maximum out of the tyres over one lap". Rookie Pierre Gasly of Torro Rosso showed impressive pace in Q1 but couldn't keep up in the other sessions, eventually qualifying 15th. "I'm good and fine, that's the main thing", said Grosjen.

Probably best the mouth is covered.