- Malaysian GP - Qualifying
Hamilton concerned by Red Bull recovery
Though proud of an "almost impossible" pole position in treacherous conditions Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes has to take Red Bull seriously as it closed up the gap in the wet in Sepang.
In the dry FP3 Mercedes had dominated at a canter, but the deluge of rain which continued after a delay to qualifying threw Red Bull and Ferrari into the mix but Hamilton managed to prevail, edging Sebastian Vettel out by five tenths. Hamilton had been behind Nico Rosberg in Q2 but came into his own in the final session, and admits he needs to take full advantage of his second pole position of the season after being denied in Australia.
"I'm a little all over the place at the moment, I'm really happy ," Hamilton said. "I wanted to make the most out of the inters and by the time I got to the full wets it was much easier. I was very surprised. In qualifying so much is going on so sometimes you forget the situations you are in and you wish you had another lap. For sure I don't fully understand why everyone closed up and why the Red Bulls got so close but that's something we have to work on. They have always been quick in the wet. I think we have a great opportunity with a great car and the team is just performing spectacularly right now so hopefully that should see us through to the finish line. The priority for the team, Nico and me both, is to get as many points as possible this weekend."
After surpassing Nigel Mansell's tally in Australia, Hamilton is now level with Jim Clark on 33 career poles, and believes the achievement is all the more notable given the treacherous conditions throughout qualifying which compromised his final Q3 run - even if he did momentarily forget whose record he had broken.
"I'm very, very proud to represent the UK. To be up there with a name such as James Hunt… James Clark… Jim Clark, sorry, is really a great honour. Today was just incredible, firstly how much it rained before qualifying and then the first session was incredibly difficult for everybody. Particularly at the end it was almost impossible to see. I couldn't do my last lap, I just couldn't see a thing behind Hulkenberg. I couldn't see where the track went, didn't know when the corners were or where to brake, and at the start of the lap I couldn't even see where Alonso was behind me so it was impossible to try and get a gap. I had to bail out fortunately, it was very close, a little bit too close, but I'm happy to be there."