Hamilton took pole in Malaysia, the failure of Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo- Red Bull Racing. Credit Octane

Track crew lifting Haas driver Romain Grosjean of France vehicle after it crashed out on Turn 14 during the second practice at the Sepang International Circuit for the first practice session for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix in Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.

"I think it would have been more hard if I had lost the auto somewhere in the race", the German, a record four-time victor in Malaysia, said.

"I think we have a strong vehicle", Vettel said at a press conference ahead of Malaysia Grand Prix scheduled this weekend.

He explained that his teammate Sebastian Vettel had taken pole position in Singapore, while he came in fourth place in the qualifying and said: "so, if you purely compare to Mercedes, it was better".

Now the hunter rather than the hunted in the championship race, Vettel doesn't feel under any less pressure to produce results, choosing to focus on each of the six remaining Grands Prix one at a time. "It's over the whole year".

At Sepang a year ago Hamilton thought the world was against him, spouting conspiracy theories when his Mercedes engine exploded while leading, which handed a 23-point championship cushion to team-mate and eventual champion Nico Rosberg. Because he failed to set a time in qualifying, the four-time F1 champion was starting the race from last place, so effectively the 20-place grid drop makes no difference. We have been able to some extent put Malaysia on the map of the world by hosting the F1 race.

Formula One champions Mercedes have a "fundamental issue" to resolve with their auto after a painful practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday. "It is definitely sad to think this is the last race", the Briton told a news conference organised by his Mercedes team's Malaysian oil sponsor Petronas. The German took three in four years with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, missing out in 2012 thanks to a collision with Narain Karthikeyan.

"I don't look at it that way", said Vettel. The lights went off, we did our start, everyone was trying to do his start, and with the way it happened it ended up really bad for all of us.

However, Raikkonen is not one to get flustered easily and 15 minutes into the race, the Finnish driver was already in his shorts and walking back to the team's motorhome.

Max Verstappen qualified third ahead of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, while Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was fifth. "We need to get our stuff together", Bottas lamented.

Hamilton, though, insists he is focusing one race at a time, and is not allowing himself to consider the bigger picture.

"Overall I think it's been a decent day, a bit mixed, the morning a couple of things to understand, the afternoon a little bit better".

Related news: