Lewis Hamilton has said he was pleased with his performance to claim pole position for Sundays Mexican Grand Prix, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, but has suggested that he could have gone even quicker
Lewis Hamilton has said he was pleased with his performance to claim pole position for Sundays Mexican Grand Prix, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, but has suggested that he could have gone even quicker. The world champion dominated qualifying and was two-tenths of a second clear of Rosberg, who managed to come close to the British driver only on his final hot lap.
Hamilton, who trails Rosberg by 26 points in the world championship, is in confident form after a win at the last round in Austin and has brought it to the Autdromo Hermanos Rodrguez. So far this weekend has gone well, he said. I am looking forward to the race, the long runs seem to be good, the car feels great, so Im just looking forward to getting out on track.
The world champion, who was quicker than his team-mate in all three practice session and both Q1 and Q2, however, did not think his final runs were as good as they could have been. His suggestion is ominous for Rosberg, as may well have been the intent. Q3 was actually not great for me, he said. Even though I got pole, it wasnt a great lap. I had a pretty serious delta throughout the session before that but then lost quite a lot of time on my first Q3 lap and then more again on my second lap. I just didnt put three sectors together in either of them. If Id put them all together, I think there was probably another three or four tenths in there. The difficulty in balancing tyre temperatures through the lap seems to have been why he believes he could have gone quicker.
He has pole but it is crucial he makes a good start, after five poor launches already this season and it was an issue he had considered given the long run from the grid to turn one. Overtaking here is very tough, so position is everything, he said. I dont plan on being second.
Rosberg admitted he had not managed to hook his car up over the weekend until his final lap in qualifying. Some weekends it takes a bit longer to find your rhythm and this was one of those where it took longer to find it, he said. I was finding my way, understanding my tyres and how to get more out of them. He was also disappointed he had not managed better. Pole was what I wanted. I didnt get that, so it hasnt been a great day, obviously, he added.
Rosberg still has the whip hand in the championship battle, he can afford to finish second to a Hamilton win in all three of the remaining races and still take the title, but recent momentum seems to have switched towards Hamilton as the Mercedes executive director, Toto Wolff, acknowledged. We have seen this bouncing back and forth, he said. Singapore was Nicos circuit and the same in Suzuka and Lewis was strong in Malaysia and Austin, this weekend seems to be Lewiss track.