2016 Malaysian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton on pole

Press call (Photo by FIA)

Press call (Photo by FIA)Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes), Nico ROSBERG (Mercedes) and Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing)

Q: Back to our pole-sitter, Lewis Hamilton, Lewis you touched on it there in your final answer but I wonder if you could dig down a little bit more in detail. Give us the changes to the surface, the changes to the camber of the corners; how different is the feel to the driving here this year? How  different is it to previous years and what’s the feeling like?

LH: Honestly it does feel better. I was a bit sceptical when I came in,  I wasn’t very sure why they made changes because the track generally felt pretty good before but it did have bumps in it which…  I generally like that, I think that’s a sign of character in a circuit but it’s a lot smoother now which I enjoy as well. There are still a couple of bumps, before turn nine. As I said, it works better with the tyres, it’s just a little bit smoother, I bit better with the flow. The car, I would say, is a bit less sliding. And then the last corner, it’s not a lot, not a huge amount different. It was always a challenging corner. You’ve seen in the past, there were always lock-ups there so it’s just that there’s a slightly different line that you take and right at the apex of the corner is not a place you want to be, there’s no rubber there because no-one’s driving there. It’s not that easy to get there.

Q: Going back to you, Nico, obviously strategy was a big story here twelve months ago in this Grand Prix. Do you expect that again tomorrow? Obviously you’ve got to run the harder compound, do you expect to see some variation in the way that the top teams attack this race tomorrow?

NR: Well, it’s only between the medium and the hard really, so yes, it’s possible that we could see some variation. Depends maybe also on the temperatures and everything but I don’t think it’s going to be too exciting strategy-wise because the tyres are pretty similar so I don’t think it’s going to have such a deciding factor.

Q: And Max, it looked like you and your teammate both aimed to save a set of soft tyres in Q1. You did go out right at the very end but you never actually put a quick lap on those tyres so they are essentially new. Once again, Red Bull trying something a little different on the strategy as you did in Singapore?

MV: We don’t know yet. We just keep all the options open and yeah, it felt quite a good balance on the soft tyres as well – actually on all the compounds it felt good on the long runs. It just depends a bit on the temperature tomorrow and then from there on in the race we will decide what we will do.


Q: (Livio Oricchio – GloboEsporte.com) Lewis, you have already done some fantastic laps in qualifying this year but you finished the first lap in fifth or sixth position. You had problems at the start. Did you make a special preparation for this race? Is there an improvement in the clutch system of your car?

LH: In the clutch system? It’s the same one we’ve generally had all year so there’s no changes to it, it’s just race-on-race we’re trying to understand it a bit more and more and trying to predict what it’s going to deliver etc. Nico got a great start… we’ve both generally got good starts in the last race so we are improving gradually.

Q: (Louis Dekker – NOS.NL) Max, after Belgium, Italy and Singapore, is there any confidence left for a good start tomorrow?

MV: I always have confidence, even if I drop back to last.


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