RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Lewis Hamilton has warned his pole position winning lap 'could have been faster' as he nonetheless turned his fortunes around with a dominant pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Coming to Sepang on the back of an indifferent run of form since the resumption of the summer break, Hamilton mirrored his fine form from FP2 and FP3 to put the pressure on title rival Nico Rosberg with his first flying lap.
Setting the benchmark at 1min 32.850secs, errors by Rosberg on both of his flying laps would leave him four tenths adrift, albeit still second on the grid.
However, a delighted Hamilton – eyeing his first win since July's German Grand Prix - believes he could have increased the margin between himself and his Mercedes team-mate with a cleaner lap.
WHERE & WHEN can you watch the Malaysian Grand Prix
“Just a huge thank you to the team who have continued through the whole year to improve and coming here this year is definitely the best the car has been here.
“Great work done coming into this weekend, obviously [good] over the last few weeks with Nico's wins but today the car just felt fantastic and I really enjoyed that lap. It could have been faster.”
With Red Bull going against expectation to emerge as Mercedes' closest rivals in qualifying, Hamilton admits he is wary of Max Verstappen and Daniel Riciardo's row two presence but is satisfied with his car's pace.
“I think they're going to be very quick, they've been quick all weekend. I think tomorrow, provided the conditions are like this, the track is better, a lot smoother and seems to work better with the tyres than it has done in previous years. It will be a close race for sure because I think they had very good long runs but I think we are looking quite strong also, so hopefully that's the case tomorrow.”
Though his last pole position at Monza was spoiled by a terrible start, Hamilton has no concerns of a repeat coming into the crucial race.
“The clutch system is the same one that we've had generally all year so there's no changes to it. It's just race on race we're trying to understand it a more and more and trying to predict what it's going to deliver. Nico got a great start, we both generally got good starts in the last race, so we are improving gradually.”
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