Vettel refusing to read into Mercedes' Friday struggles in Malaysia

Vettel refusing to read into Mercedes' Friday struggles in Malaysia

He has two wins on the year and four runner-up finishes.

Although Vettel deserves huge credit for turning the Prancing Horse into a contender again, he owes them a big performance here, and Hamilton is bracing himself for a strong response.

The 30-year-old has an impressive record at the Sepang International Circuit, as he has won four times at the venue, most recently in 2015.

Hamilton, the only black driver in F1's history, urged his followers to read about the issue, signing off his message with #Takeaknee.

"Apparently a drain came out, I didn't see anything", Grosjean said as he returned to the pits.

Very happy to join @ToroRossoSpy for the #MalaysianGP!

The only other South East Asian circuit that F1 will visit now is Singapore, but with Meritus.GP, the organisers, being of Malaysian ownership, it will seem unlikely that the series will follow F1 to the venue any time soon.

Vettel has looked like giving Hamilton a run for his money for much of the season but recent results have left him lingering.

"This opportunity is simply fantastic - I have been dreaming about this moment since I was a kid".

"We are going to feel it on Sunday afternoon, but that's I guess what we prepare's a painful one, but it's a good pain and you deal with it and I feel I definitely thrive in the hotter conditions".

Ricciardo said of Mercedes: "I could see fuel coming out of the fuel tank, so I think they were quite heavy today". 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..

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are complementing each other extremely well and as Ricciardo has quoted, Max brings out the best in him.

"Last year we had a one-two in Malaysia". We've been very good in the high-speed [corners], we are not at all good in the high-speed here.

Echoing the sentiments of his team boss, championship leader Hamilton described his Friday at Sepang as "a very hard day". Hamilton's lone Malaysian success came in 2014.

Qualifying is on Saturday at 7am and 9am and the race starts on Sunday at 9am.

Vettel posted the fastest lap in his Ferrari.

At the time, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told CNN the country could no longer justify the cost of hosting an F1 race. But organisers, who originally had a contract to host the race until 2018, have made a decision to call time on it a year early due to declining ticket sales, viewership and tourism. Our customers are aware of this and they have been backing both drivers in this market and top 10 market. "It just goes to show you never know what can happen".

Antonio Giovinazzi, another Ferrari-backed prospect, took over Romain Grosjean's auto at Haas, and the Italian, who stood in for an injured Wehrlein at Sauber for the opening two races of the season, finished 19th.

But Vettel believes there is still plenty more work for the Scuderia to do.

"It's a controversial story so I don't want to get involved in the politics of it".

The Briton has won all three races since returning from the summer break taking the checkered flag in Belgium, Italy, and most recently in Singapore. "I think it depends on the points you have at the end of the year or not, so yeah". He has such a point to prove now and the Renault might just like this circuit, even in the wet.