|© AP Photo/Mark Baker
Lewis Hamilton has had a tough weekend trying to match the pace of the Red Bulls at the Korean Grand Prix, with qualifying on Saturday bearing witness to the Briton’s struggles with his car.
The McLaren driver managed to qualify in third behind Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel but will still be going all-out for the win on Sunday despite the gap in the performance of the two teams.
“In Q3 I’ll happily admit that I ragged the life out of the car and got everything from it, yet Mark and Seb both claim they had a little bit left over,” said Hamilton who was two-tenths slower than the pole-sitter.
However, the 2008 world champion was convinced that McLaren’s pace in the long run was competitive and was hoping to make the most of an advantageous position on the clean side of the grid.
“Beating the Red Bulls will be about making a good getaway, making all the right strategy calls, and not making any mistakes,” he pointed out. “There’ll be good opportunity for slipstreaming into the first few corners at the start too.”
Teammate Jenson Button meanwhile lost time in both his runs in the second leg of qualifying and as a result failed to make it into the top-ten shootout.
“I locked up in the final sector on my first Q2 lap, ran wide and had to go down to first gear – losing quite a lot of time in the process – so I reckon there was easily a couple of tenths that I could have had there,” Button explained.
“Then, on my final Q2 run, I lost time because of the yellow flags. I knew I could have gained a couple of extra tenths in that final sector, but as things panned out I couldn’t improve because of the yellows. It’s just one of those things,” he added.