• Malaysian Grand Prix

McLaren gradually closing on top two - Hamilton

ESPNF1 Staff
April 2, 2010 « Button unhappy with McLaren handling | »
A jubilant Lewis Hamilton talks to the press after practice © Sutton Images

After topping the time sheets during Friday's practice in Malaysia, Lewis Hamilton thinks McLaren is slowly clawing back the advantage Red Bull and Ferrari held in the opening two rounds.

His team-mate Jenson Button won the wet Australian Grand Prix, but the McLaren has lacked one-lap pace to make the difference in qualifying.

"I've got a good feeling in the car - it's probably the best feeling I've had in the car around this circuit," he said. "Every time I get to a track this year, it always feels light years better than the last time, which is very positive. We don't yet know where the others are, so we need to keep focusing on our performance, but we're optimistic that we've made a small step forward. Hopefully the weather will be okay for qualifying tomorrow."

Hamilton said he would work hard overnight to ensure he is in the best possible position on Saturday.

"We're still trying to get a better feeling for the tyres, but we've made some positive first steps," he added. "This evening, I want to sit down with my engineers and make a couple of changes. Sepang is a very special place - it's not a stop-start circuit; it's a flowing, high-speed track which is all about getting the car to flow from one corner to the next. You need lots of rear-end grip, a strong balance and a car that can ride the kerbs well while also conserving the tyres. And that's never an easy combination to achieve. I think we had a good first day today."