No regrets about leaving McLaren: Lewis Hamilton
REPORTING FROM KUALA LUMPUR
Former world champion Lewis Hamilton says he has no regrets above leaving McLaren and joining the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team this year.
Speaking ahead of this Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, the 28-year old Briton, Lewis Hamilton – who finished a respectable fifth at the season-opening Australian GP — said he’s happy about his new team and feels there’s no need to make any comparisons.
“I don’t look at McLaren and feel happier. I do know that it’s a fantastic team and they have got great facilities and great people working there so I have no doubts that they have always been very strong at catching up and moving forward,” Lewis Hamilton told media during a briefing at the PETRONAS Twin Towers on Wednesday.
“I feel that this is only a small little blip in their journey this year. I’m sure they will catch up,” said the 2008 world champ, referring to the fact that both McLaren drivers finished behind him ain Melbourne last Sunday.
Jenson Button, with whom he was engaged in a bitter feud right the whole of the 2012 season finished ninth while Sergio Perez was 11th. Kimi Raikonnen stole the headlines by taking the chequered flag in his much-awaited return to F1 with new team Lotus.
Pleased with the progress that his own team Mercedes has made for this season, Lewis Hamilton hopes the car will “stay competitive to the end” as the team continues to develop it.
“The team has made some fantastic steps forward in the right direction, not just with the car but with things like the factory, the reshuffling of some individuals,” he said.
“They have done an incredible job to build a competitive car and come from a long way behind from last year where sometimes they were a couple of seconds off, ” he added.
And although Hamilton said he was happy with his fifth-placed finish, team principal Ross Brawn said otherwise.
“We didn’t achieve our maximum potential last weekend. We didn’t get a good balance for the race and it wasn’t our best race. The fact is we’re very disappointed with fifth place. We also lost Nico (Rosberg) during the race,” said Brawn.
Rosberg failed to finish the race due to an electrical problem.
Stressing that the team needs to find a good balance for the car, Brawn is confident of a top six in qualifying this weekend.
He added, “Assuming we have a more normal weekend, I would feel very disappointed if we are not fighting in the top six for qualifying. I think we are in that area now. More importantly, we got to turn that into a stronger race performance.”
Meanwhile, fellow driver Rosberg is also looking forward to having a good race this Sunday, hoping to relive the joy he had when he finished on the podium at the Sepang in 2010.
*This was first published on Yahoo! Sports.