Lewis rues tyre choice

lrg-1576-mal08-058Lewis Hamilton was left dissapointed with his third place in qualifying, the British ace regretting choosing the prime harder tyres on his final hot lap.

The McLaren driver had struggled with the handling of his MP4-23 throughout the session, particularly around the demanding Turn 8. He wound up on the second row of the grid, a full three tenths of a second slower than pole-sitter Felipe Massa.

Hamilton had opted for the harder compound Bridgestone tyres on his final lap in a bid to hold on to the tyre performance in the final sector. The tyres undergo particular stress in the heavy braking zone following the long back straight which then proceeds into a twisty left-right-left combination.

While the Stevenage ace did gain time in the final sector after going quickest of anyone through the twisty Turn 13/14 complex, it wasn t enough to redress the deficit in the early part of the lap where he struggled badly with understeer.

“I am not completely satisfied with third place today,” rued the 23-year-old, “I think I could have gone a bit faster and also didn t make the right tyre choice as I was on the harder Bridgestone tyre for my final run.”

“I did a great lap in Q1 and felt the car worked better there than in Q2 which was why I made the tyre decision I did. My final lap wasn t that great either, so all in all I am a bit disappointed.”

The Briton is nonetheless confident that he has the package to take the fight to Kovalainen and Massa, his third place gifting him the extra benefit of the clean-side of the track come the start.

“Looking forward we have a very good technical package and will push hard tomorrow to fight for a good result.”

“I think we are close to Ferrari, but it will be a tough race. As this circuit provides some overtaking opportunities it should be a good one for the spectators and the fans as well.”