Championship leader Lewis Hamilton admits that he would prefer to start Sunday’s pivotal Brazilian Grand Prix closer to the Ferraris after qualifying on the second row in fourth position.
The McLaren driver, who only needs to finish fifth or higher in Sunday’s race to be crowned champion, appeared to struggle for pace in qualifying and was languishing in sixth place after his first flying lap in Q3.
He vaulted up to fourth after his second attempt, but will still start behind both Ferrari drivers, with title rival Felipe Massa on pole in front of his home crowd.
While Hamilton admits his grid slot is not ideal, the Briton has hinted that McLaren elected to run with a heavier fuel load in qualifying, which although compromises their grid position gives them a better chance in the race.
“It would be nice to be further up, but with the strategy we have it’s quite good,” Hamilton told reporters after qualifying.
“It’s going to be a tough race for sure,” he added. “Ferrari have probably gone on a different strategy, which could be good or bad. But we’re in a great position.”
Hamilton also wished his championship protagonist well in Sunday’s race, and conceded that he is in the best possible position for the start.
“(Pole Position) is where he needs to be,” he said. “All the best to him. I’m just focussing on my problem, I don’t need to do anything specific, just bring the car home.”