Lewis Hamilton believes a dry Grand Prix gives him the best chance of a good result at Sepang despite the impressive wet weather pace of the Mercedes. The Briton qualified fourth after a rain-affected Q3 but feels confident in the W04’s long run performance ahead of a race where tyre conservation will be key.
“I’m pretty happy with fourth place considering the conditions today. The car was not too bad in the dry but the balance could have been a lot better, then it was pretty tricky conditions in the wet during Q3. We did our lap with older tyres than the guys in front, which was a bit unfortunate, but our pace was good overall so I can’t complain. It’s the second race on the second row for me and there are lots of positives to take out of the weekend so far. Our long run pace looked pretty good compared to the other teams so I’m hoping for dry conditions tomorrow.”
Teammate Nico Rosberg starts just behind in sixth after making the same mistake as Hamilton by staying out on a single set of intermediates. The German is similarly confident that the car will prove a match for those around it on longer runs, something that wasn’t always the case in Melbourne.
“In the dry conditions I had a great balance today and everything went perfectly which was nice to see. Once it began to rain unfortunately we weren’t able to get the most out of the car and at the end of Q3, my tyres were worn as some parts of the track were drying and I wasn’t able to improve my lap time. We have a good car for the race and a strong starting position from the third row of the grid so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We should have some good opportunities and will need to make sure that we make the most of them.”