Lewis Hamilton: “I’ve been struggling with the car today“


Lewis Hamilton could only manage fifth place during FP2. Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton says he struggled with the set-up of the W08 during both practice sessions today, and the team will be investigating overnight why that was, to hopefully resolve the issue ahead of tomorrow’s final practice session.

“It’s been a very difficult day. I’ve been struggling with the car today, so we have to review and try to understand where we have gone wrong with the balance.

“We’re hoping that we’re able to find our bearings overnight and regroup for tomorrow.”

Although free practice 1 was hampered by rain, the second practice session was dry, but Mercedes were some way off the pace of Scuderia Ferrari, and also fell behind Red Bull Racing. They were even slower than McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Fernando Alonso in both sessions, a result nobody would have been expecting!

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas also had issues, with both drivers lucky to save big off track moments as they struggled to find any grip at the Sepang International Circuit. Mercedes had expected to perform more strongly in Malaysia, but were 1.4 seconds off the fastest time set by Sebastian Vettel, and that will have left a lot of heads scratching on the Silver Arrows pit wall.

Despite the less than enthusiastic performance however, Hamilton thanked the fans for keeping him going, throughout the day, with their unbreakable support.

“I had a great group of people who were in front of my garage today all day long, sending really positive energy. So a big thank you to everyone there and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!”