F1 champ Hamilton starts Malyasian Grand Prix from 12th place
PUBLISHED: 10:45 05 April 2009 | UPDATED: 22:06 26 October 2009
HOCH ZWEI / Juergen Tap
WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton will start today s Malaysian Grand Prix from 12th on the grid in a car that McLaren admit isn t fast enough. After the hugely embarrassing and damaging Australian Grand Prix lying episode, Hamilton will be looking to resto
WORLD champion Lewis Hamilton will start today's Malaysian Grand Prix from 12th on the grid in a car that McLaren admit isn't fast enough.
After the hugely embarrassing and damaging Australian Grand Prix "lying" episode, Hamilton will be looking to restore some of his credibility in Sepang today (Sunday).
However, his chances of gaining a podium are again hindered by his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes car.
While Brawn GP's Jenson Button stole pole position for the second weekend running yesterday, Hamilton was only 13th fastest on the Malaysian track.
He will start today's race from 12th place though after gaining a position following Sebastian Vettel's 10-place grid penalty.
"We qualified about where we expected to," said Lewis afterwards.
"I'm just going to race my heart out, do the best I can and try and score some points."
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "We always knew that qualifying would be difficult around Sepang because MP4-24 lacks the aerodynamic downforce needed to match the top teams.
"That's no fault of either Lewis or Heikki [Kovalainen], who have driven faultlessly all weekend: they just lack the grip needed to get the most from the car through the high-speed corners.
"Of course, starting 12th and 14th is not where we are accustomed to starting grands prix, but we are confident that the improvements we are preparing for the forthcoming races will allow us to quickly move into the midst of the tight pocket of cars competing for times in Q3."
Norbert Haug, vice-president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: "We will start the race from about where we thought we would.
"We have made some small additional improvements to MP4-24 since last weekend's season opener in Australia but we still missed out on getting into the top 10 by two-tenths of a second."
Haug is hoping Hamilton's Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) on his McLaren will help in a race situation.
Speaking after qualifying, he said: "Our KERS certainly helped laptimes in sectors one and three and we hope it will also prove beneficial tomorrow and hopefully help us overtake some of the cars that start ahead of us.
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