Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain with Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, after the qualifying session for the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit. (Reuters)
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton made it two poles in two races after emerging unscathed from an incident-packed and rain-hit Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.
The Briton saw off Red Bull's quadruple Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel by 0.055 of a second in a session with two red flags, a 50 minute rain delay and more downpours throughout the afternoon.
The pole was the 33rd of Hamilton's career, equalling the British record set by the late Jim Clark in the 1960s, and was secured in a time of one minute 59.431 seconds.
Vettel's lap was an impressive turnaround for the German, who retired in Melbourne two weeks ago, after his car needed a reset to fix an energy store problem in the first phase of qualifying.
Hamilton's Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg will start from third place with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso joining him on the second row despite an earlier collision with Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso that required hurried repairs.
The incident was being investigated by the stewards.
Force India's Nico Hulkenburg finished seventh with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen eighth as he and his team chopped and changed with intermediate and wet tyres throughout.
The first phase of qualifying ended 30 seconds early after Swede Marcus Ericsson lost control of his Caterham, hit the wall before flying back across the track leaving debris and almost hitting Esteban Gutierrez's Sauber.