June.11 – 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton has said that he was ‘very happy’ with his final laps in Q3, despite having to clear up for fifth place on tomorrow’s on the grid. Lewis was left without an answer to the speed of his Red Bull and Ferrari rivals in qualifying, but he believes a long seventh gear could pay dividends throughout the 70-lap race.
“Personally, I was very happy with my lap: I don’t think I’ve ever driven a car as hard in my life as I did this afternoon,” Hamilton explained. “I was right on the ragged edge and I think I even touched the wall at one stage. But, even so, I managed only P5; that was all I could do. Nonetheless, I’m still hopeful that we’ll bring further improvements to the car soon – it’s just a matter of time. I hope our race pace will prove to be stronger tomorrow than our qualifying pace was today: we’re losing a couple of tenths along the back straight, which hurt us in qualifying.
“We’ve got a long seventh gear – a bit too long for qualifying perhaps – but that should be good for overtaking and will be a help when I’m slipstreaming as it means I won’t be on the limiter. That should enable me to challenge the guys in front of me, in fact. It’s going to be a tough afternoon tomorrow, but it’s always a long and unpredictable race here and we’re definitely not out of the fight.”
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