RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Free Practice Results (2)
Lewis Hamilton says he 'definitely' has a better feeling at the wheel of his Mercedes W07 after setting the pace in free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
A return to the Sepang circuit for the first time since April 2015 when Malaysia hosted the second round of last year's season, Hamilton comes into the weekend eight points adrift of Nico Rosberg with six rounds remaining.
On the back of a lacklustre weekend in Singapore, Hamilton says he feels more comfortable in the Mercedes after setting the fastest time in FP2, two tenths ahead of his title rival.
“At the moment there's a good feeling, putting the building blocks in, we got all the running that we needed today so hopefully that will pay off tomorrow and in the race.”
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“Definitely [a better feeling than Singapore]. I mean today we had no problems, we got lots of running in. There's not really any excuses right now. We've got a lot of data today, a lot of understanding of the different tyres that we've run; soft, medium and hard, so fingers crossed we're in a good position.”
Looking ahead to qualifying, Hamilton hints grid position could be crucial given the difficulty in following other cars. However, he is impressed by the Mercedes' pace over long runs given the increase in grip from the resurfaced circuit.
“It's a hard track to follow. Even just following the Honda today was hard enough so it's definitely not going to make a more exciting race I don't think but I might be wrong.”
“Normally here degradation is a real killer but for some reason, I guess with this new tarmac, it's not really that abrasive on the tyres and they seem to be lasting so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing for racing but in terms of us, we're in a good position, with our long run pace.”
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