Lewis Hamilton expects Sebastian Vettel backlash in Malaysian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel needs a quick response to his Singapore disappointment. Edgar Su  Reuters

"Set-up is always a compromise in Malaysia as you need a good vehicle in the middle sector, but you also can't afford to lose too much time on those long straights".

"It's part of motor racing", Vettel told Sky Sports.

The Red Bull cars of both Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, fastest in P1, appeared far more comfortable in the rainy conditions of the morning with the pair falling almost a second adrift in the afternoon.

"Obviously the race (at Singapore) didn't go that way but I don't see why you would look at everything so negative".

"We had such a hard day yesterday; it was hard to know where we stood", Hamilton said.

Ferrari mechanics had worked frantically for two hours to replace Vettel's engine after the power unit suffered a glitch during Practice Three, but the German reported that he "lost turbo" on his first flying lap in qualifying and limped back to the pits. "We guarantee that we will be fighting right to the final corner of the very last grand prix of the year", Ferrari team chief Maurizio Arrivabene said.

"I'm happy to be in third, I was struggling a lot with balance in P3", Verstappen Jr. said.

Back to the race on Sunday, the weather may well play an important part as it did a year ago, when it was won by Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull. Nico Rosberg had been on pole position in his Merc. "There are many, many variables, but one things for sure is that you need to get the tyres into their sweet spot, which is something the result suggests I didn't quite get for Q3".

Sergio Perez was seventh, ahead of Williams' Felipe Massa and his Force India team mate Esteban Ocon, while McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne pipped team mate Fernando Alonso to round out the top 10.

Cape Town - Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said there is a "gremlin" that needs removing after both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled for early pace in Sepang. The Red Bulls and Bottas were not close enough to challenge Hamilton, but unusually, the championship leader was unable to improve his initital time.

"For the rest of the day we will concentrate on getting the four kerbs welded back down again.they have probably become a bit tired".

"But we've not been very good at high speed here". Ask Kimi Raikkonen if he'll miss it and you'll get a rather dismissive answer: 'Not really. It's not the first time I'm in the situation like this and probably will not be the last time - I'm not hoping for it to happen again! "Tomorrow is a long race and it will be tough for tires".

"It's been a decent day", said Vettel. Sunday's race will also be Malaysia's last.

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton became only the second driver in history to register 60 Grand Prix wins when he claimed victory at this month's Singapore GP.