McLaren: Sepang to show truer picture
|By Pablo Elizalde||Friday, April 1st 2011, 11:09 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton believes next week's Malaysian Grand Prix will offer a more realistic picture of the current pecking order of the Formula 1 field.
The McLaren driver finished in second place in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, a race dominated by Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel.
Although Vettel took a commanding pole and win, there were suggestions by rivals that Red Bull was still not showing its true speed.
Hamilton reckons the Sepang race will show a truer picture of the situation.
"After the pace we showed in Melbourne, I think we can have another good race in Malaysia," said Hamilton in a team preview. "Albert Park is a great track, but a circuit like Sepang is where the differences between the cars will start to become clearer.
"I'm really looking forward to using KERS Hybrid and the DRS too - the rapid change of direction you experience when the car is really in the groove is phenomenal around here, and I think both systems will make the cars look sensational, especially in qualifying.
"The team have looked into the floor failure we experienced in Melbourne: it seems like the bond between the bib and the chassis was damaged so the damage looked quite bad by the end of the race."
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh also believes Red Bull was not using its full performance in Melbourne, but he is still positive his team will enjoy another strong weekend.
"As with every season, we're pushing hard to bring developments to the car for every race," he said. "We don't think Melbourne showed us the best of our competitors' pace, so that only makes us more motivated to bring as much performance to the table as possible.
"On paper, it looks positive: we were pleased that our Melbourne upgrade worked as expected, and the car's performance around the high-speed elements of Albert Park suggests it will be able to cope around Sepang.
"Despite this, the reality is that there was a gap to pole position, and we finished second and not first. Our target is to close that gap and get Lewis and Jenson into a position where they can win."