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Hamilton leading from the front

ALL SMILES: Lewis Hamilton

AFTER THE disappointment of crashing out at the Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton claimed pole in Malaysia for his second front row start of the season.

The Mercedes driver is joined at the front of the grid by reigning champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, while his team-mate and Australian GP winner, Nico Rosberg starts in third alongside Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso.

Qualifying had been delayed for nearly an hour after heavy rain, but this may have been to the benefit of the drivers and their tyres after they had all commented on the heat and subsequent tyre degradation.

"It's always difficult when it rains but this year it is even more difficult with all the extra torque we have, but it was great fun," Hamilton said.

"At the end, I couldn't see a thing - it was like driving through the clouds.

"I couldn't do my last lap - I just couldn't see behind [Nico] Hulkenberg. I couldn't see where the track went and didn't know where the corners were or where to brake. And at the start of the lap I couldn't see where Fernando [Alonso] was behind me so it was impossible to try and get a gap, so I had to bail out.

"I'm just grateful the lap I did before was good enough. It was definitely a little bit too close [to Red Bull] but I'm happy to be here."

Hamilton's 33rd career pole equalled the record of legendary British driver, Jim Clark.

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