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Hamilton favourite to qualify fastest after brilliant practice

| 23.03.2012

Lewis Hamilton has been installed as the 10/11 favourite to qualify in pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix after continuing his good start to the season in practice.

Hamilton was the quickest driver in the practice sessions at the Sepang International Circuit and looks in great shape to make sure he starts at the front of the grid for the second time in as many races this term.

The Briton recorded his time of one minute 38.021secs in the first practice session and it was still good enough to lead the way after the second outing.

Mercedes dominated the proceedings, with Michael Schumacher finishing second in his Mercedes GP, Jenson Button third in his McLaren and Nico Rosberg, also in the Mercedes GP, fourth.

It bodes well for Hamilton as he looks to bounce back from his disappointing third place finish in Australia when he finished behind teammate Button in first and reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel in second.

He was visibly disappointed after that performance but maintained there was plenty more to come from him and his car – a theory that seems to have been backed up by his performance in practice.

Button remains a threat in qualifying at 11/4 but Vettel – who finished fifth in qualifying last week – still looks a little off the pace after finishing 10th in the practice sessions, with his Red Bull-Renault perhaps needing more fine-tuning before the weekend’s racing. He is currently 5/1 to be in pole.

Meanwhile, Schumacher has been bullish about his ability to compete this season and his performances so far appear to show he should still be considered a threat. The German is out at 12/1 to finish the quickest in qualifying tomorrow.



Richard Anderson