Practice setbacks leave Hamilton “quite a bit off” in Malaysia (VIDEO)


Lewis Hamilton may have rallied to finish as the quickest driver in the second free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix, but the Briton feels far from comfortable after suffering a number of setbacks on Friday.

Hamilton was forced to stop his car out on track after just four laps in FP1 thanks to a failure on his power unit.

The Mercedes team managed to resolve the problem in time to get the defending world champion out on track during the second practice session, in which he finished as the fastest driver.

Nevertheless, Hamilton remains uneasy about his chances this weekend after completing just 20 laps in total on Friday.

“It was an amazing job by my guys to rebuild the car and get the engine, gearbox and everything back on and get me back out,” Hamilton said. “I’m very grateful for that, particularly here where, because it’s so hot and so difficult for the tires, it was really important to get back out and do some laps.

“It affects you quite a bit,” he added when asked about his setbacks. “In terms of set-up, I’ve not made any changes. I’m just using what I have. It’s quite a bit off of where I need it.

“My lap wasn’t spectacular. I think I’ve got some improvements I can make with the balance and other settings because they are all from the last race. I’m sure we’ll tweak it and improve it.”

Hamilton is also wary of the pace being shown by Ferrari in Malaysia. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel both impressed on Friday, displaying a race pace that appears to place the team closer to Mercedes than it was in Australia.

“The Ferraris look great,” Hamilton said. “They really do. It’s surprising to see how good their times are.

“We’ll see where they can finish on the weekend.”