Tuesday, August 11

Hamilton fastest in Sepang but not confident for pole

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SEPANG: Lewis Hamilton was reluctant to show any extra confidence yesterday after putting his nightmare in Melbourne behind him with a fast drive in opening practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.After topping both free sessions for McLaren, he said he still felt unable to say he was “comfortable” and expressed concern that rivals Red Bull and Ferrari would show their speed again in qualifying today.

“I would not say I am comfortable about qualifying — you can never be comfortable, so I wouldn’t say that,” said the 2008 world champion.

“Our qualifying pace hasn’t been great in the last two races, but hopefully Saturday will be better.

“We have to take a look at the weather, but it does look as if we are quite competitive … We just don’t know what other people have been doing with fuel loads and so on.”

His reference to the weather was a reminder that a heavy tropical storm curtailed last year’s race, which was abandoned, and that similar rainstorms have been frequent this week.

The race start has been brought forward by an hour as a precaution. — AFP