Sepang: World champion Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday, the German pipping McLaren`s Lewis Hamilton on his final flying lap around the Sepang circuit.
Hamilton had set the quickest time just seconds earlier, before Vettel clocked one minute, 34.870 seconds in his Red Bull with team mate Mark Webber claiming third spot on the grid a further 0.205 behind Hamilton.
Vettel won at Sepang last season and is aiming for a fourth consecutive race victory on Sunday. The 23-year-old was clearly delighted with his qualifying effort.
"Yes boys, that`s what I am talking about. Great job," he told his team over the radio as he slowed down after picking up a 17th pole position of his career.
In a repeat of the top-five on the starting grid in the season-opener at Melbourne, McLaren`s Jenson Button will sit next to Webber on the second row in fourth place with Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso behind them in fifth.
Renault`s Nick Heidfeld split the Ferraris, claiming sixth ahead of Felipe Massa, while Michael Schumacher endured another disappointing qualifying day and failed to make it into the last session in his Mercedes to start 11th on Sunday.
HRT made good use of their new front wing and qualified for Sunday`s race after missing out in Melbourne when both cars fell foul of the `107 percent rule`.