Lewis Hamilton was the first to admit that Ferrari’s speed that the Maranellos showcased during Friday’s practice took him a little bit by surprise.
Although the reigning champion managed to beat Kimi Raikonnen’s time by fourth tenths of a second, he had to acknowledge the progress that the Italian team made since the previous season. “The Ferraris look great, they really do. Surprising to see how close they are this weekend.” – said Hamilton when they asked for his input regarding the Finn’s pace.
This wasn’t Hamilton’s biggest problem however. The difficulties with his power unit persist and the possibility of a forced engine change has already come up. Although he managed to get the top time during the practice, he wasn’t all that satisfied with the gear shifts and thought the car could be even faster without those technical obstacles.
Hamilton thinks that because of those problems, the preparation for the second race of the year wasn’t ideal. “They’ve been pretty heavily compromised. Whenever you lose a session that definitely doesn’t help, as well as half if not more of the second session. The team did an amazing job to re-build the car and I’m very grateful. Just to have got some laps were crucial. Sunday will be hard” – he said.
The Mercedes team started out the season in the best possible way with Hamilton placing 1st and Nico Rosberg 2nd at the opener in Melbourne. The team that won the Formula One World Constructors’ title last season in a landslide (and with a new record) looks primed to repeat in the new season. Many fear that the World Drivers’ Championship could turn out to be a snooze fest, but with Hamilton’s technical problems, the Malaysian GP could turn out to be one of the more exciting races of the season.
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