Check out what Lewis and Nico had to say after an eventful qualifying session at the Sepang International Circuit…
Q: Lewis, to say the least a dramatic session and obviously all about timing at the end, but your first lap on the intermediate tyres – did that just push the bar too high for everyone else?
LH: I don’t know. I think the first lap was quite good. We go out and none of us have driven this weekend in the wet, so the first lap is always kind of unknown. You don’t want to take too much risk so that you don’t get the lap but you need a banker. My lap was feeling pretty good. I was pushing. The next one was up at one stage but then I just lost a little bit. But generally a fantastic job for the team to have us both up here again.
Q: On your final run you caught up with Nico at a slightly awkward place on the turn-in to a corner. Did that cause you any problems?
LH: I don’t really remember, so obviously not.
Q: It was an interesting strategy by both of you in Q1: you went out on the medium tyre whereas a lot of your competitors, including Sebastian, went with the harder tyres. Obviously you were thinking about tomorrow’s Grand Prix. Do you see it being quite an interesting race, an open race from a strategic point of view?
LH: It generally always is here. Last year we had a three stop. It’s very, very tough on the tyres – particularly with these hot temperatures. Plus the race is now earlier so it’ll be even hotter if it is dry. Yeah, it’s going to be a real challenge for everyone – including the car, the tyres and the strategy.
Q: Coming to you Nico, you had a go right at the very end on the intermediate tyres but it wasn’t to be. Where do you think it got away from you today?
NR: I just didn’t drive well enough, so that’s why. I’m annoyed by that. Third place is not good for the race, but that’s the way it is. It was quite interesting conditions out there, because there was so much grip it was unbelievable. I’ve seldom had so much grip in wet conditions, so it was very unusual. It was good to drive but I was not quick enough. For tomorrow, third place, it’s on the clean side of the grid, so that should help me to get by Sebastian tomorrow at the start.
Q: I think it’s the second longest run of the whole season down to turn one and with the way it goes right and then left, we often see quite a big shift in field position as a result. That’s one opportunity for you, strategy is the other. What is your thinking about the race?
NR: Well, definitely looking forward to it because we have such a great car. I had a good run on Friday so race pace is good. Starting on the clean side, hopefully I can attack Sebastian and get behind Lewis and race him from there.
Q: Could you clarify the radio message at the end, when you were talking about the lines on the track? What were you referring to?
NR: It was unusual conditions out there which we haven’t practised. I was just interested to hear what the guy who was first did in terms of lines. I didn’t know it was Lewis – I just asked what lines the guy in first was doing. Was he doing normal dry lines or more towards wet. But that information is banned, so I got a reply “can’t tell you!”