• Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton disappointed to miss out on pole

ESPN Staff
March 23, 2013 « Raikkonen hit with three-place grid penalty | Alonso welcomes Massa's competitiveness »
Lewis Hamilton was last across the line on a drying track but couldn't improve his time © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton said he was disappointed to miss out on pole position for tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Having looked strong in FP3 Hamilton failed to replicate that pace when rain fell during the final part of qualifying, eventually securing fourth on the grid. Hamilton did have the benefit of being the final driver to start a lap as the track dried out but he said he was unable to improve because he was still circulating on the same set of tyre from the start of Q3.

"I have to go and speak to the team about whether they regret it or not, but for me it's just the way it is," Hamilton said. "Of course putting new tyres on was obviously the way to go; our strategy was to stay out. We thought it would dry out more and it would work in our favour but it didn't.

"I want to be pole, so initially when you get out of the car of course you don't think you're happy or anything. I was working to get pole position - as we were as a team - but we're a little bit further back than what we were hoping for. But it's motor racing, everyone's in the same boat and tomorrow there's lots of positive to take out of today and yesterday. So I'm excited about the race."

Focusing on those positives Hamilton believes Mercedes' long run pace is strong for the grand prix.

"The car was not too bad in the dry but the balance could have been a lot better, then it was pretty tricky conditions in the wet during Q3. We did our lap with older tyres than the guys in front, which was a bit unfortunate, but our pace was good overall so I can't complain. It's the second race on the second row for me and there are lots of positives to take out of the weekend so far. Our long run pace looked pretty good compared to the other teams so I'm hoping for dry conditions tomorrow."