Liverpool look set for another strong outing in Malaysia after Karl Beckenbauer took pole position following his win in Australia.
Franklin F1 were close however and both Will Hoskins and Enrique Ruiz managed to separate Beckenbauer from his teammate Adrien Simon.
Meanwhile with less than a tenth separating fourth to eighth, the battle behind the top two looks closer than ever.
Looking at the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix, it is very clear that Franklin have worked hard to get closer to Liverpool, which will make this race very exciting indeed. Karl Beckenbauer still managed to gain the pole position, but there was very little between the German and Will Hoskins. Enrique Ruiz was very impressive to take third, and Australia pole man Adrien Simon will be slightly annoyed only to manage fourth - he will see this as a second missed opportunity after getting taken out by Gerard Alaniz last time out from the lead.
The most striking thing after that point is the emergence of Downton. They have been under pressure to get up the order, and their factory have responded perfectly; Marcus Thunder gets a fantastic 5th, and champion Nathaniel Powers takes 9th, very impressive for the man regarded as more of a race specialist, and even more so given his clear disappointment at the result. It will be very interesting to see how he progresses through the race.
Scuderia Rossi look to have fallen back slightly, Domenicalli taking 6th and Giodano a slightly disheartening 10th while Westwood have had a mixed session, Kinnumen 7th with a beautifully driven lap, and Keith Boston 20th, not what the owner of the eponymous team would have been looking for. Meanwhile Fun have raised their game, with Agostino 8th and Dwyer 13th, which puts Dick Diceman's team in with a real chance of a double points finish.
Team 23 continue to make progress with their car, with Elroy Wagner 11th and Jean Mattson 16th, meaning they could get themselves up the constructors table with a bit of luck. Lucas Grand Prix had mixed fortunes, with Carson Davenport 12th and Jonas Phipps 21st, although that could have been attributed to an issue with his W12 engine. Peugeot will be very disappointed with their day, 14th and 19th for Lewis Ellington and Regi Abott respectively, and there will be concern within the French team that they are falling behind to the rear of the midfield.
Ingram GP had a solid if unspectacular session, Milkovich 15th and Campos 17th, although the fact the car was consistent means they can quite easily get back up to the upper midfield and possibly further forward still. The battle of the new teams saw Force Australia take the spoils with Felix Beyer getting 18th position and Alaniz 21st prior to his 10 place penalty, with Warrior taking 22nd and 23rd for James Harding and Michal Kubat.
With the season now well and truly underway, Franklin look like they have caught Liverpool, and Downton have got right up to the front of the midfield in the space of a week. Team 23 are steadily improving, while Lucas and Peugeot have struggled so far this weekend. Who will win the Malaysian Grand Prix? Find out tomorrow live in the F1FVGPC!