Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes made some 'good steps' with W04 in Malaysia practice

Although admits taking on Red Bull and Lotus in dry will be tough

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 22/03/13 4:37pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes have succeeded in improving their W04's race pace so far at Sepang - although concedes taking the fight to the very top teams in dry conditions will be "very hard".

As revealed by Mercedes boss Ross Brawn direct from the pitwall during Sky Sports F1's live coverage of Friday Practice in Malaysia, the Brackley team, anticipating the arrival of late afternoon rain, deliberately sacrificed the usual time spent completing shorter runs at the start of the session to focus on improving set-up for the longer distances.

After Brawn declared that process a success, Hamilton enthusiastically concurred, and suggested they were poised for a stronger Sunday performance compared to last weekend at Albert Park, when he slid from third on the grid to fifth place.

"I felt like we made some good steps with the set-up," he told Sky Sports F1.

"I wasn't really able to exploit it over a single lap, but nonetheless I'm happy with where we're standing. I think we're stronger race-pace wise. If I'm honest when we did the long run it felt pretty strong and we went for quite a few laps.

"I'll go and see whether someone else did a long run and compare it, but it felt quick. The car felt better than it was in the last race, so fingers crossed it will be."

Nonetheless, Hamilton suggested Mercedes had plenty of challenges ahead to run at the very front of the grid irrespective of whether the remainder of the weekend proved wet or dry.

"It really depends what the weather's like tomorrow, but if the weather's as it was today it's going to be very tricky," he admitted.

F1 on Sky Sports in 2013

Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every grand prix live in 2013.

Our dedicated F1 channel will broadcast every race, qualifying and practice session live, along with highlights shows, analysis and even more coverage via the Red Button.

Find out more at sky.com

"If not, then it's going to be very hard to beat the Red Bulls and the Lotuses. But we'll give it everything we can."

Speaking during Friday's The F1 Show at the end of Friday's practice running, Sky F1 pundit Johnny Herbert said the team's early-weekend work certainly appeared to be going in the right direction.

"Solid work. It looked quite ugly early on - those tyres seemed to sort of have two bands on the left rear - but there seemed to be a little bit of a change in what Ross Brawn said when we spoke to him in the commentary," Johnny said.

"So they made some nice strides forward - exactly the same as in Australia. They weren't so good on the Friday but it got better."

  • Share:


Malaysian GP 2013

Ross Brawn says Mercedes do not favour Lewis Hamilton over Nico Rosberg

Brawn: No number one at Merc

Ross Brawn has insisted there is no number one driver at Mercedes after calling off the battle for third in Malaysia.

Sebastian Vettel (right): Overtook Webber to win Malaysian Grand Prix

Villeneuve: Vettel was wrong

Jacques Villeneuve believes Sebastian Vettel was wrong to ignore his team's instructions at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Christian Horner: Has no doubt that Mark Webber will see out his contract

Horner: 'Webber will stay on'

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has insisted that Mark Webber will remain with the team for the rest of the 2013 season.

Related Profiles

Most Popular


Anderson's Top Five

Anderson's Top Five

We take a look at some of the career highs of England's leading Test wicket-taker, James Anderson...

James Anderson Quiz

James Anderson Quiz

He's England's leading wicket-taker of all time - but how much do you actually know about James Anderson?

Bowl like Jimmy: Part 1

Bowl like Jimmy: Part 1

James Anderson shares the secrets that have elevated him to England's most prolific wicket-taker of all time.