by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

F1 Sepang - More Saturday Photos (VMM)

The qualifying round of the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix was indeed packed-full of action. The fight between the two top teams kept everybody eagerly watching for the outcome of this stage. Compared to the last series of pre-season tests, when McLaren-Mercedes was admitting the lack of pace, and to the previous grand prix, the British F1 team have proven that they got the required skills to catch things up with Red Bull, the ongoing leading contenders. Both drivers showed a highly improved performance with the updated MP4-26 single-seaters and fought hard to achieve the first places on the grid. Lewis Hamilton nearly missed the pole-position at the end of Q3 in favour of Sebastian Vettel; at the beginning of the session, the Briton managed an even lap time of 1m35.000s and, towards the final moments, he was able to set a faster time of 1m34.974s, but due to a technical error in tackling the crucial last curve of the circuit before the straight line in front of the paddock, as Hamilton explained, cost him precious bits and enabled the Red Bull opponent to beat him by up to 100 milliseconds, which meant second place for Lewis. His team mate, Jenson, went for a rather safe strategy and will start Sunday's race from the fourth position on the grid.

Check out more exquisite photos captured on Saturday after the jump!

* Official photos courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *

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